Feedback sought on how drones are being used on Australian farms
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is undertaking a survey to build a snapshot of the use and benefits of beyond visual line-of-sight remotely piloted aircraft operations in Australia.
RPA, or drones, are enabling an array of exciting advances across global industries and this new survey, BVLOS drone operations in regional Australia, will help design rules that allows industry to keep pace with the fast-moving technology.
Drones are used for a variety of applications such as 3D mapping and aerial imagery and are increasingly being used to carry out operations such as crop monitoring and spraying.
Last year, CASA delivered important changes to drone regulations, specifically to assist with automating low risk operations.
This year's national survey is focused on engaging with the drone community to inform regulatory changes for lower-risk beyond visual line-of-sight operations.
"We encourage everyone to participate but we especially want to hear from the rural and regional sectors that use drones in agricultural work such as spray management, mustering, farm and land management, or any activity to deliver agricultural outcomes," RPAS Policy and Regulations manager Jaclyn Smith said.
The survey will collect data to provide a snapshot of the Australian drone sectors' beyond visual line-of-sight operations and the benefits and challenges of increased uptake. A major focus will be identifying areas where regulatory improvements may be applied for lower-risk, low altitude drone operations.
Renee Bartolo, a specialist drone operator working on beyond visual line-of-sight projects at environmental sites and with rangers and First Nations Communities, urged other drone users to take part in the survey.
"Drone safety is the highest priority for the drone pilots I work with, and creating a workplace that has continuous system improvements is crucial," Ms Bartolo said.
"Taking part in the survey (consultation.casa.gov.au) means we can provide constructive feedback to CASA to assist in the ongoing development of a set of drone rules."