When it comes to using drones for farming, or in any industry for that matter, certain certifications and accreditations are required by law in order for drone operators to fly them for business purposes. Getting drone operator accreditation is just one of these requirements that applies when flying drones of certain sizes. Here’s what you, as a famer, agricultural business owner or drone operator, need to know about the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operator accreditations, AKA drone operator accreditation.
Do I need to get drone operator accreditation to use a drone on my farm?
If you currently operate a drone or drones on your property, here are the circumstances in which you may or may not need to gain RPA operator accreditation.
You must gain a remotely piloted aircraft operator accreditation to fly a drone on your property, for your business or as part of your job if:
- Your drone falls within the micro RPA (250g or less), very small RPA (more than 250g but 2kg or less) or small RPA (more than 2kg but no more than 25kg) categories.
You are not required to gain RPA operator accreditation if:
- You hold a valid RePL (remote pilot license).
- You’re flying your drone for fun, and not for business purposes.
One of the benefits of acquiring drone operator accreditation is that it is a slightly less intensive process than gaining a remote pilot license (required for drones over 25kg but less than 150kg), so if you operate a smaller machine, you’ve got a simpler way to get qualified, which makes sense.
Other important points of note surrounding drone operator accreditation include:
- You must not accept payment for the drone service to provide in order to gain this certification.
- You must always fly your drone by keeping within the drone safety rules (as outlined on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) website).
- You must be 16 years of age or older in order to become an accredited operator.
How do I get drone operator accreditation?
In order to apply for and gain your RPA operator accreditation, you must:
- Visit the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) website.
- Create a myCASA account.
- Provide proof of identity.
- Gain and provide an aviation reference number (ARN).
- Pass an online quiz about standard operating conditions and rules that apply to RPA operation.
- Print off your completed accreditation certificate once you pass the quiz.
You can find all the information you need via the CASA website.
How much does drone operator accreditation cost and how long is it valid for?
Currently, accreditation is free and can be completed online.
It is valid for three years.
So, if you want to operate a drone on your property for agricultural business purposes, it is important that you look into the accreditations that may apply to your circumstances.
If you’ve got your accreditation and are looking to purchase a drone, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our drone expert Meg is always happy to help!
Mobile: 0492 979 491