CASA opens consultation on proposed mandatory drone registration and pilot accreditation: The 14-point need to know…

Published: 26 January 2019.

[1] CASA has proposed the introduction a drone registration and drone operator accreditation requirement as a way of monitoring the safe and lawful operation of drones (Scheme). The full 25-page Policy Proposal is available here. Key points as follows:


[2] The Scheme is intended to apply to:

(a) drones weighing more than 250 grams operated recreationally, and

(b) all drones operated commercially, including ‘excluded’ (sub-2kg) drone operations, regardless of weight.

[3] The Scheme does not intend to apply to:

(a) drones weighing 250 grams or less operated recreationally, or

(b) model aircraft at CASA-approved model airfields, or

(c) drones operated recreationally indoors.

[4] Mass is only relevant to recreational drone activity and includes any batteries, fuel, attachments, sensors, cameras fitted to the drone.

[5] Registration and accreditation will be introduced in 3-stage progressive manner.


[6] 25 January 2019 to 22 February 2019: CASA is inviting comments on the detail of the proposed Scheme. You can have your say through this page.

[7] April 2019: A regulatory package is to be submitted for Ministerial approval after any post-consultation amendments.

[8] June 2019: legislative approval at Executive Council.

[9] July 2019: stage 1 – RPA operator certificate (ReOC) holders – registration only.

[10] September 2019: stage 2 -Excluded drone operators (sub-2kg and flying over your own land) – accreditation and registration.

[11] November 2019: stage 3 –  Recreational drone operators – accreditation and registration.


[12] Accreditation will be free. It will essentially involve watching a video and answering a quiz on the drone rules that apply to you, unless you already hold a Remote Pilot’s Licence (RePL).

[13] The costs of registration is yet to be determined and will depend if you fly for fun or profit. CASA estimates and annual fee of $20 or less per person for recreational drones; and an annual registration fee between $100 to $160 for each commercial drone.


[14] These amendments will largely be contained in the Part 101 Manual of Standards (MOS) with the necessary MOS-empowering provisions and offences to be located in Civil Aviation Safety Regulations.

Watch this space to see how the Scheme unfolds and for upcoming analysis and commentary.

Fly Free!

The Drone Lawyer

26 January 2019.