Drone Operation and Management

Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPASs) or Drone Operation and Management at UNSW
 
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPASs; in short drones) are used for diverse purposes such as aerial mapping, remote sensing, terrain modelling, engineering inspection, construction monitoring, environmental assessment and wildlife research. Their operation in the Australian airspace is regulated by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) according to Commonwealth legislation.
 
Depending on the nature of the operation, piloting a drone for UNSW purposes may be seen as a commercial activity by CASA. Accordingly, UNSW holds a Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (ReOC; ARN: 829135) overseen by the CASA-certified Chief Controller and Maintenance Controller, Dr Yincai Zhou, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Policy and administrative support is provided by Research Ethics & Compliance Support.
 
Operators of drones >2kg or drones <2kg but operating outside CASA-specified conditions need to become CASA-certified controllers. However, all drone operators, including those of drones <2kg, need to contact Research Ethics & Compliance Support on E: drones@unsw.edu.au for an induction to the UNSW Drone Operations Manual by the Chief Controller and to register their drones for insurance purposes prior to operations.
 

Note that the UNSW Kensington campus lies within the 5.5km airspace controlled by Sydney airport air traffic service. Any drone operations within this space require written approval by CASA. The appropriate form is Form 101-09 Application for RPA Flight Authorization (Area Approval/Permissions). CASA will seek additional assessment from Airservices, meaning the review can take time. There is also no guarantee that permission will be granted. Applications should be submitted via Research Ethics & Compliance Support. External, licenced operators need to apply under their licence and submit the approval for noting to drones@unsw.edu.au prior to the approved activity.

The UNSW Drone Risk Management Form can be accessed here.

 

Legislation and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

The operation of drones in Australian airspace is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998Additional CASA information on drone operations and licence requirements can be found here.

0
Flying drones under 2kg within standard operation conditions*

Also referred to as “excluded operations”

Before flying, you will need to provide the following to drones@unsw.edu.au:

  1. Aviation Reference Number (ARN)
  2. “RPAS Notification – Confirmation” email from CASA
  3. If the drone is owned by UNSW, the following information. Details will be provided to UNSW insurance.
    • Controller Name
    • Drone Make/Model
    • Drone Serial Number (MSN Number)
    • Maximum take-off mass (kg)
    • Condition
    • Year of Manufacture
    • Drone Purchase Price (AUD)
  4. Enrol in the UNSW RPAS Operation and Management Course (Enrolment details will be provided by RECS upon receipt of 1-3)

Note that a Risk Assessment is to be submitted to the Head of School via your supervisor. Please contact your Health and Safety Manager for any required assistance.

*Definition of Standard Operation Conditions (SOC) can be found here

0
All other operations

This includes flying drones under 2kg but not within SOC, or drones heavier than 2kg.

Before flying, you will need to provide the following to drones@unsw.edu.au:

  1. Aviation Reference Number (ARN)
  2. Remote Pilot Licence (RePL)
  3. If the drone is owned by UNSW, the following information. Details will be provided to UNSW insurance.

    • Controller Name
    • Drone Make/Model
    • Drone Serial Number (MSN Number)
    • Maximum take-off mass (kg)
    • Condition
    • Year of Manufacture
    • Drone Purchase Price (AUD)
  4. Enrol in the UNSW RPAS Operation and Management Course (Enrolment details will be provided by RECS upon receipt of 1-3)

  5. Contact the UNSW Chief Remote Pilot and Maintenance Controller, Dr Yincai Zhou (drones@unsw.edu.au) for competency assessment and authorisation.

Note that a Risk Assessment is to be submitted to the Head of School via your supervisor. Please contact your Health and Safety Manager for any required assistance.

 

0
Contacts

Enquiries related to controller certification or drone operations should be made by contacting drones@unsw.edu.au

Dr Ted Rohr T: 02 9385 4235

0