The October Directive and impact on Advisory Circulars 101-01 and 101-10

Author: Gary R   Date Posted:24 November 2017 

The October Directive and impact on the Advisory Circulars

Instrument number CASA 96/17Direction — operation of certain unmanned aircraft issued on 17 October 2017

Having fielded many questions on this directive and the impact on the Advisory Circulars AC101-01 from past and present RePL students, and the drone pilots flying under the excluded category (AC101-10), I thought it may be good to focus on one component at a time of this directive.

The link to this directive is https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L01370

1. Directions relating to the operation of unmanned aircraft near controlled aerodromes
While this direction states that  you may not fly your drone within 3nm of the movement area of a controlled aerodrome, it has resulted in a smaller no fly zone area around some airports as it is no longer measured from the boundary of the airport.
This direction does not apply if:
  • you hold an authorisation or exemption permitting operation within 3nm, or
  • you hold a valid current area approval, or
  • you hold any special privileges or limitations, or
  • you operate a micro RPA, tethered balloon or kite, unmanned free balloon, rocket or fireworks.

This direction over rules AC101-01 and AC101-10 regarding the no fly zone shape.

2. Directions relating to the operation of unmanned aircraft near aerodromes that are non-controlled aerodromes

This direction states that  you may not fly your drone within 3nm of the movement area of a non-controlled aerodrome if you are aware of a manned aircraft operating to or from the non-controlled airport.  If you are flying your drone within the 3nm limit of a non-controlled aerodrome, you need to move your RPA out of the way and land as quickly and safely as possible, as soon as you become aware of a manned aircraft operating to of from that airport. 
This direction does not apply if:
  • you hold an authorisation or exemption permitting operation within 3nm, or
  • you hold a valid current area approval, or
  • you hold any special privileges or limitations, or
  • you operate a micro RPA, tethered balloon or kite, unmanned free balloon, rocket or fireworks.

This direction over rules AC101-01 and AC101-10 regarding the no fly zone shape when you are aware of a manned aircraft operating to or from the non-controlled airport.  

3. Directions relating to the operation of unmanned aircraft higher than 400 ft AGL

As stated by this directive, do not fly your RPA above 400ft anywhere, unless: 
  • you hold an authorisation, or
  • you hold a valid current area approval, or
  • you hold any special privileges or limitations, or
  • your RPA is a tethered balloon or kite.

4. Directions relating to the operation of unmanned aircraft in the area of emergency operations

Do not fly your RPA over an area where a fire, police or other public safety or emergency operation is being conducted, unless the person in charge approves your operation of the RPA.
 
5. Directions relating to the operation of RPA near people
Do not fly your RPA closer than 30m horizontally from any person that is not part of your operation, unless you hold an authorisation or exemption to fly closer than 30m to people.  This does not apply if your RPA is an Airship allowing you to fly no closer than 10m to people.
 
6. Directions relating to the operation of a single RPA or model aircraft
Do not operate more than one RPA at a time (ie: one pilot, one drone) unless you hold a relevant authorisation or exemption.

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