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 being utilised in UNSW for diverse applications such as surveying, remote sensing, construction, infrastructure inspections, environmental assessment, mineral exploration, agriculture, film making, aerial photographing and wildlife research, to name a few. Drone operations 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 Unit.
 
Piloting drones >2kg or drones <2kg but outside CASA-specified standard operating conditions (SOCs) requires a CASA issued remote pilot license (RePL) and ReOC. Operating drones <2kg under CASA's standard operating conditions (SOCs) is excluded from the above requirements, however ARNs and CASA notifications are required. For all drone operations, pilots are required to contact the Research Ethics & Compliance Support Unit (drones@unsw.edu.au) for a safe operation and compliance induction and to register pilots' details and drones' data for insurance purposes prior to operations.
 

Note that the UNSW Kensington campus lies within the 5.5km from Sydney airport boundary. Any drone operations within this space requires written approval by CASA. The appropriate form to complete 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 the Research Ethics & Compliance Support Unit. External licensed operators need to apply under their own licence and submit the approval for noting to drones@unsw.edu.au prior to the approved activity.

The online UNSW RPAS Operation and Management Course in Moodle is a mandatory course which has been designed to support registered drone pilots who intend to operate a drone for a UNSW purpose. It is also a central storage location for flight and maintenance logs, RPAS operation and management related documents (e.g. ReOC, Ops Manual and Ops Library) and other support materials (e.g. guidelines for safe RPAS operations and aviation regulation compliance and shared RPAS operation experience and tips).

 

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, please provide the following information which will be sent 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. The UNSW Drone Risk Management Form can be accessed here.

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

0
All other operations

This includes flying drones under 2kg but not within SOCs, 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, please provide the following information which will be sent 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.
  6. Complete a Job Safety Assessment (JSA) prior to any drone operation under the ReOC and submit to the Chief Remote Pilot and Maintenance Controller for approval (drones@unsw.edu.au).

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. The UNSW Drone Risk Management Form can be accessed here.

 

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

Ms Sam Husakovic T: 02 9385 6868

0