CASA and remotely piloted aircraft
Australia was the first country in the world to regulate remotely piloted aircraft, with the the first operational regulation for unmanned aircraft in 2002. (Civil Aviation Safety Regulation [CASR] Part 101 is this regulation.)
CASA is reviewing CASR Part 101, and will modernise it into CASR Part 102.
Phase 1 will involve amendments to CASR Part 101 and the development of a notice of proposed rule-making – 1309OS – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Terminology and Weight Categorisation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft. This will, among other things, formalise the name change to RPA and RPAS.
There will also be a suite of advisory circulars (ACs) to provide guidance to industry, including:
- AC101-1 – General
- AC101-4 – Training and Licensing
- AC101-5 – Operations
- AC101-6 – Manufacturing and Initial Airworthiness
- AC101-7 – Maintenance and Continuing Airworthiness
- AC101-8 – Safety Management/Human Performance
- AC101-9 – Applying for an Operators Certificate
- AC101-10 – Operations in Controlled Airspace
Phase 2 will consist of a complete re-write of the regulation resulting in a new CASR Part 102 for RPAS.
CASA expects to have this done by 2016.
Privacy concerns and CASA’s role
One thing you will not find in the list of advisory circular topics is the effect of RPA on privacy. Privacy and RPA is a real issue, but as the aviation safety regulator, CASA’s task is restricted to aviation safety.
However, CASA recommends if you are applying for an unmanned operators certificate (UOC), that you make yourself familiar with privacy matters and how this affects your use of an RPA. The UOC application process includes a reading list about privacy matters.
The principal area of the Australian Government concerned with privacy is the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:www.oaic.gov.au.