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Australian CASA aerodrome restrictions help please!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TheloniousMac, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. TheloniousMac

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    Hi all, I hope someone can clear this up for me.
    I've been looking over the CASA regulations and can only find references to asking permission to fly above 400 feet within the 3 nm of an aerodrome and that as long as I stay under 400 feet I am not breaking any laws.
    It's just advised that I should not be flying at all within the 5.5 km of an airport.
    Where I live is approximately 2.5 nm from a small airport "Archerfield" and I have a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ which does show that Brisbane INTL airport is out of bounds and the surrounding 3 nm there is no indication of the Archerfield airport.
    I have been walking down to the park and flying my V+ around but I've just had a look at the maps and actually measured from the airport.
    We do have a fair amount of light planes (pilots in training) flying overhead but my understanding is that they must keep to 500 feet altitude.

    Can anyone clear things up for me regarding if I should find a further away park?
    Thanks

    TLDR:
    - Minor airport 2.5 nm away
    - CASA regulations do not restrict any UAV under 400 ft within that distance?
    - Light aircraft must stay over 500 feet above suburbia?
    - Am I okay to keep flying at my local park?
     
  2. Mal_PV2_Ireland

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    I cant give any legal info but one thing for sure is dont back your court case up by saying the dji app doesn't have it marked in their no fly zones. Hope someone else can give you a better answer
     
  3. TheloniousMac

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    LOL, no of course. I was just looking it up to see if the airport was even listed, which it isn't.
    I wonder where DJI gets their map info from and if it can be marked by users as needing updating?
    Maybe a future update will include more airports as I'm sure my little one can't be the only one missing from the built in restrictions.
     
  4. TheloniousMac

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    Here's the bit from CASA I was referring to:
    http://casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dll?WCMS: ... =PC_100375
    and right down the bottom is the "should not" bit.
    I've seen some hung ho guys going on about what is illegal but what I find doesn't back up their claims.
    I don't think Australia is as bad as America (yet) and I can fly all I want around a National Park.
    With all the new and cheap store bought UAV's (DJI, Parrot etc) I can see the regulator scrambling to do something before an incident.
     
  5. BrisVegasQuad

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  6. enseth

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    Archerfield Airport is a Class D Controlled Airspace which means you can't fly within 3nm of the outside boundary of the airfield unless you have CASA approval. This class covers from the ground surface up so being under 400' is still not permitted so the bad news is that it looks like you'll have to find a park a bit further away.
     
  7. Soulnet

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    This. I live on a boundary and I can tell you that sometimes there are flights under 500ft on approach. I may not be deliberate but you'd hate to be the one that caused the accident.

    Has anyone here asked for permission to fly above 400ft? I'd love to know what the process is like in Australia.
     
  8. TheloniousMac

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    Can you please point me to the regulations stating this?
    All I could find was permission required to fly over 400 feet within that airspace.
    How does that affect clearly toy copters like the air hogs which can go above 30 metres. What about some kid playing with his small remote copter around a soccer field?
    We have some kite clubs here and they tell me 90 metres is allowed for them.
    I'm just trying to find some actual regulations and restriction not just what people hear.
     
  9. Soulnet

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    http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dll?W ... =PC_100375

    It's there on the CASA website.

    If you want the full legislation;

    http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dll?W ... c=PC_91039

    Part 3 is the most relevant to quadcopters;

    http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_assets/m ... 101c03.pdf

    8.1 is what you're after and 8.2.1 helps.

    8. MODEL AIRCRAFT OPERATING AREAS
    8.1 Before flying above 400ft within controlled airspace or within 3 nautical miles of an aerodrome, the operator of a model aircraft must obtain permission from the appropriate air traffic control service or CASA as appropriate.

    8.2.1 The operator of a model aircraft weighing over 100 grams is required to obtain permission before flying a model above 400 ft AGL within controlled airspace or within 3 nautical miles of an aerodrome. While this rule means that a model aircraft may be flown above 400 ft AGL clear of these areas, there are advantages in seeking approval for a permanent model aircraft operating area. Publication of the details of a model aircraft operating area means that other users of airspace will be advised where there is potential for conflict with model aircraft.
     
  10. Soulnet

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    8.1 should've been split into two points, but it's the OR bit that got me at first. Having contacted my local tower to confirm, no flying within 3NM without ATC clearance. Outside this zone you can fly up to 400ft but no higher without proper permission.

    Oh I forgot too, the 500ft for planes does not apply within 3NM of an airport. They have to land afterall!
     
  11. TheloniousMac

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    Yeah see that all states about flying ABOVE 400 feet.
    This is my point! I can't find any restrictions to flying UNDER 400 feet.
     
  12. TheloniousMac

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    BTW I have called the Archerfield airport and the office didn't know so they gave me the number for the tower control. They just said that their planes were only allowed to go down to 500 feet and anything under should be fine but to refer to CASA.
     
  13. Soulnet

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    Its not best worded but it's anything up to 400ft is okay but 0ft within 3NM (5.5km) of an airport.

    Break the above and it's a Federal offense so be careful.
     
  14. Soulnet

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  15. Soulnet

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    To make your life easy though, contact the tower again, tell them what you want to do and when and where you are so you have approval! Even though i'm just outside the boundary if a pilot in a real plane decides to let the tower know, they know straight away i'm not somebody who is flouting the rules or breaking 400ft.
     
  16. TheloniousMac

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    Point 7.2.1 states that I must fly BELOW 400 feet unless I am further than 3 nm from an airport at which point I am allowed to fly as high as I'd like (according to this).
    It does appear to be black and white but it's not what many people are saying.
    Can anyone explain if one of those Parrot mini Spider drones which can be flown within 30 metres of an iPhone would be restricted in the same way, as in according to the no fly zone I wouldn't even be able to fly around my back yard! They could police it the same way as the Phantom i.e. third party witness or an incriminating youtube.

    I found this flight chart hoping to help me figure out the zones (the red dots are where I fly)... What the hell sort of airspace does Amberley have? is that listed anywhere or should that just be the standard 3 nautical miles?
    [​IMG]
     
  17. TheloniousMac

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    It probably sounds like I'm being a dick, but I just want to fly and have fun with a new toy.
    I honestly would like to know the actual laws since I have flown at the park which is within 5.5 km of a small airfield. We do have single prop planes flying overhead (I swear some of them come as low as 100 metres) and as such I haven't gone over 90 metres.
    I don't mind only flying when I am outside the 5.5 km range but what I read of the restrictions I don't have to.
    If small toy helicopters and drones are allowed to fly around the 30 metre height without any complaints then I can easily keep my Phantom 30 metres off the ground at the park as long as no one is around, but then that is a threshold and as far as I can see the legal limit is 400 feet even if it isn't safe to do so with aircraft flying under their regulated 500 feet. Obviously the law about not being a danger to other craft etc comes in then.
     
  18. theflyingmck

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    Soulnet i think you maybe wrong. 7.2.1 says "Unless approval has been obtained beforehand, model aircraft should only be flown below 400ft above ground level unless clear of controlled airspace, and further than 3 nautical miles from any aerodrome."
    Once you're clear of controlled air space and 5.5km away from and airport your fine to go above 400ft, closer in stay below 400ft
    AC 8.1 does back this with, "8.1-Before flying above 400ft within controlled airspace or within 3 nautical miles of an aerodrome, the operator of a model aircraft must obtain permission from the appropriate air traffic control service or CASA as appropriate."
    I must point out now that these are taken from an Advisory Circulars and taken from the cover,
    "Advisory Circulars are intended to provide recommendations and guidance to illustrate a means
    but not necessarily the only means of complying with the Regulations, or to explain certain
    regulatory requirements by providing interpretative and explanatory material.
    Where an AC is referred to in a ‘Note’ below the regulation, the AC remains as guidance
    material.
    ACs should always be read in conjunction with the referenced regulations
    ."

    I think the "and"s and "or"s are confusing the mater here.

    So time to look at the regulation.
    Part 101 deals with UAV and Phantoms are classed as "model aircraft" when user for recreation.

    101.075 Operation near aerodromes
    (1) A person may operate an unmanned aircraft at an altitude above 400 feet AGL within 3 nautical miles of an aerodrome only if:
    (a) the operation is permitted by another provision of this Part; or
    (b) permission has been given for the operation under regulation 101.080.

    there is nothing exculding flying below 400ft here except,

    (2) A person may operate an unmanned aircraft over an area mentioned in paragraph (3)(a) or (b) only if:
    (a) the operation is permitted by another provision of this Part; or
    (b) permission has been given for the operation under regulation 101.080.
    (3) The areas for subregulation (2) are:
    (a) a movement area or runway of an aerodrome; and
    (b) the approach or departure path of a runway of an aerodrome.
    (4) A person must not operate an unmanned aircraft in such a manner as to create an obstruction to an aircraft taking off from, or approaching for landing at, a landing area or a runway of an aerodrome.


    To my reading, as long as not near the runways, taxi ways or approach or departure paths you are fine to fly below 400ft with in 3 nm of an airport.
    Note: Inside the boundary of an airport would be restricted airspace and permission would be need.
     
  19. Soulnet

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    You're reading it wrong.

    Unless approval has been obtained beforehand, model aircraft should only be flown:
    (a) when the weather is suitable;
    (b) clear of the movement areas or runways of an aerodrome;
    (c) below 400ft above ground level unless:
    (i) clear of controlled airspace, and
    (ii) further than 3 nautical miles from any aerodrome:
    (d) within sight of the operator at all times;
    (e) well clear of populous areas;
    (f) at least 30m clear of persons, vessels, vehicles or structures. This can be reduced for persons behind the direction of take off. Other model operators and any assistants or officials may be within this distance; as may vessels, vehicles or structures under their control.

    Again;

    So when in controlled airspace (which is pretty much all of Australia) it's maximum of 400ft. When within 3NM of the airport it's 0. Basically it's taking control if something happens say there is a failure and the engines get stuck on, a fly away etc... within 3NM of an airport is more than enough for an out of control Phantom to wreck some serious havok. It's not a rule because you are a safe flyer but its there in case something goes wrong.

    Controlled airspace is not the same restriction as 3NM of an airport.

    Here's a link to a breach into 3NM of Moorabbin airport in Victoria which is also Class D restricted.

    http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/inv ... 2-143.aspx

    From page 5 of the PDF;

    "Applicability of civil aviation regulations

    The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) advised the ATSB that the unmanned aircraft was allowed to operate below 400 ft, not in controlled airspace, not over a populous area and not within 3 NM of an airport without CASA approval. The remote crew of Airship 11 had intended to comply with these requirements."

    If the air traffic investigation bureau was involved and not to mention deal with the report i'd take it that you should not be flying in that area. If others do that's their risk.

    Believe me though I wish I could fly inside the 3NM as I desperately want to do some flying at the Essendon Football Club new facilities but that's inside both Tullamarine and Essendon airport zones. I'd only want to go as high as their building too but what can you do?
     
  20. Soulnet

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    I should add, if you want to fly in that zone you can but in my belief and interpretation and reading, local hobby shops and clubs you cannot.

    If you think i'm wrong so be it.