Deadline for drone registration looms

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The deadline for drone registration for many Australian flyers is getting closer, with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) promising fines of up to $11,100 for drone pilots deemed to be flying unregistered drones for work after 28 January 2021.

After that date, photographers using their drones for business purposes will need to make sure any drone they fly is registered, regardless of how much it weighs, or risk a fine.

CASA defines business purposes fairly broadly - with commercial operations including selling photos or videos taken from an Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), using the photos or videos in content that is used to generate an income through advertising or sponsorship, inspecting industrial equipment, construction sites or infrastructure, monitoring, surveillance or security services, research and development, or any 'drone activities' on behalf of an employer.

In theory, this means a photographer selling prints taken with a drone will need to be registered come January 28. 

According to CASA, more than 800 organisations have already taken advantage of free registration for the drones they use for business, with thousands of drones now registered for commercial use in Australia. 

As well as being registered, all drones used for business purposes will need to be flown by a pilot with accreditation or a remote pilot’s licence. Drone users flying for sport or recreation, including model aircraft flown at CASA-approved model airfields, don't need to register. 

Drone registration is valid for 12 months, and is free for any drone registered before 30 June 2021. Pilots must be 16 or older to register a drone.

You can find out more about drone registration on the CASA website. 

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