Crackdown on drone use

Stu Nettle
Surfpolitik

In 2002 Australia became the first country to write legislation for drones - small, pilotless aircraft. At the time few people knew what a drone was or why legislation was necessary.

Fast forward to 2014 and drones were becoming so popular they were used by surf photgraphers to capture hirtherto unattainable angles. That year Swellnet wrote an article investigating their use. We spoke to Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) about the guessing game they were playing writing laws for a fast-moving technology.

“It's hard to write enforceable legislation when we don't know where the technology will be in a few years," said CASA spokesperson Peter Gibson at the time.

Now, exactly five years after Gibson said that, CASA have announced a crackdown on drone use. From July, anyone who wants to fly a drone in Australia will have to be accredited by CASA. The mandatory license will, according to Peter Gibson who's still CASA's spokseperson "give us big advantages in terms of complaints or reports of drones being flown improperly or against the safety rules."

By forcing all users to register, CASA will discover how many users there are. "For the first time we'll have an overall picture of the drone sector…probably there are tens of thousands, possibly even 100,000, but at this point we don't know," Mr Gibson said.

Though their popularity with surf photographers has plateaued, drones are still used to shoot the overhead angle. However, they're sometimes flown illegally, whether it be unregistered pilots using them for commercial purposes (commercial use currently requires a license), or flying drones in no-fly zones.

For example, every airport in Australia has a 5km no fly zone, which counts out surf spots such as the Superbank, Lennox Head, and parts of the Sunshine Coast. Yet drone footage from each is still easy to find.

So will the new regulations see a reduction in drone photography? In the short term it's unlikely. Using PWC's as an analogy, self-regulation didn't work, and it wasn't till laws were enforced that behaviour changed. Yet policing drones is harder than PWCs. They're smaller, more manouveable, and carry no unique markings.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority appear destined to forever play catch up with drone technology.

Comments

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:06pm

Guarantee that in the near future there’ll be a certification required to fly one. I suppose it’ll be a step towards reducing the cowboy factor , but you know it’s really just a government earn.

There’s a little business in it for someone. It’ll be like a construction white card . Learn the rules and regs .

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:12pm

"Guarantee that in the near future there’ll be a certification required to fly one."

I have a feeling your prediction may come true.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:15pm

How near future?

Cos I take certification to be the same as accreditation, which is what'll happen come July.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:16pm

Sorry about that. Just skim read it. Accreditation is exactly the same.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:20pm

Then your guarantee is good.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:11pm

Thought i had a swarm of bees in my backyard a few weeks ago but realised it was a drone checking out my place and my neighbours house,when i saw it it was hovering 20 feet or so above but soon fucked off after i threw it a brown eye....

simba

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:34pm

Haha Simba, good one

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:33pm

Self regulation has never worked in any industry, it's not in our nature

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:34pm

Drones are fucked. Worse than jet skis

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:42pm

Drones are annoying, but Jetskis are worse cause they can do step off out beyond take off spot and also avoid paddling back out.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:35pm

It’s going to get hectic when the drones get tiny like some of the spy cameras getting around. Privacy will be gone.

How long before we see the full arms race tech wars for public consumption spy wear ? Drone proof perimeters for your house , apps which alert you to malicious tech in your vicinity, a bong with a blaring alarm if someone packs it with pure spin.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:41pm

Not that long Blowin, its already here

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:48pm

Far out, all this high tech shit and my car overheated the other day. Old style overheated, Ford Model T-style with smoke streaming from under the bonnet.

I was driving over Windang bridge thinking, Who's the silly duffer up ahead with the engine smoke, before I realised, shit, it's me!

Rolled to a stop outside the fishing shop on the north side of the bridge, and thank jebus he was open despite being late Sunday arvo. Bought some silicon tape to patch a busted radiator hose and old mate filled a bucket with water for me.

Twisted the crank shaft on my Model T Commodore and set off up the boulevarde again.

A high tech future is not for me.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:58pm

In the age of 4 way stretch high tech boardies , I was rocking some OLD favourites out in the Sea Wok today. Lent over the bow to grab the anchor and felt a bit of a rip in the arse and ignored it .

Came in and was walking around carefree , put the boat on the trailer , cleaning fish and talking to a couple of sexy euro backpacker chicks .

Got home and realised I was basically wearing chaps . No undies and my entire date utterly exposed.

Old school commodore, old school boardies....what’s not to love ?

PS - How good is it when you can get back on the road by using nothing more than a bit of tape ?! Commodores are good value.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 12:17am

Replace those hoses Stu net....
Or pay the price......
Nothing worse than a car that won't start for -big oil.....

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:37pm

I love the photo. Boardshorts , clear water and the barrel is flaring wide open.

Except for the stinking drone of course.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:40pm

Good news, these things are annoying and im sick of drone footage.

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 6:56pm

Havent been here for a while so welcome me back guys especially you Stu and Ben.
If you don't like drones and are technologically savy knock one of these up.
https://makezine.com/2015/10/16/research-company-takes-aim-uavs-portable...

If your like me and are clueless learn to shoot well.

OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 9:11pm

It's super illegal. And ACMA come down harder than CASA...

It's a massive industry now, growing really fast, a guy I used to work with now works for a company called DroneShield.

Yea, I get barrel

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 7:15pm

"For example, every airport in Australia has a 5km no fly zone"
Not true Stu. It depends on whether the airport is controlled (usually by a control tower) Here's the CASA quote: "You may fly within 5.5km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site (HLS) only if manned aircraft are not operating to or from the aerodrome."
The problem is the rules simply aren't enforced. Pauline "gun fucking nut" Hanson flew a drone in central Townsville last year from a high rise balcony breaking multiple rules. The silly cow filmed herself and put the video up on her website and social media. Open and shut case and CASA did fuck all about it. Making drone owners register their equipment means fuck all unless CASA pulls their finger out and start fining the morons.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 8:30pm

Every cunt is a bush lawyer hey.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 9:44pm

CASA's rules are written so any idiot can understand them. For Example
"You must not fly over or above people. This could include festivals, sporting ovals, populated beaches, parks, busy roads and footpaths." A ten year old can work it out so there's no need for bush lawyers.
The Gun Nation leader was filmed flagrantly breaking the law and she put the evidence up on her website. What a moron. When CASA didn't prosecute shit-for-brains over this high profile incident, they basically sent the message to all drone users that pretty much anything goes.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 9:55pm

Melbourne local who gives a shit. Can read a few "rules" on a website what's the law bush lawyer?

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 10:22pm

I get the feeling you don't like me calling Hanson shit for brains and a moron. If the cap fits, wear it.
The rules are so easy to follow. Have a look yourself.
https://www.casa.gov.au/modelaircraft
There's mapping apps that remove all doubt.
Rules that aren't enforced are pretty much useless, especially when the general public know they aren't being enforced. That's why CASA should have cracked down on that fucking red-head, bullshit artist, hypocritical, racist imbecile.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 11:18pm

No couldn'y give a crap about any pollie.
Just wondering what the laws are for rec or pro operators?

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 12:30am

Pretty sure VL just highlighted the main points for ya dickhead......but, yeah, tag him as a ‘Melbourne local’ to back up whatever point it is you’re trying to make.

VL probably spends as much time in Melbourne as you do in Jan Juc.

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 9:05am

Jan Juc is a lovely place full of pretentious fools, figjam tradies and cashed up boomers who all think their ownership of the area is slightly larger than the next any way back to drones.

Ill apologise to VL was a little hasty on my smart arse remark's no not a fan of Pauline and yeah he did provide a direct link to the rules so was wrong. Thanks for interjecting on VL behalf

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 10:11am

"Jan Juc is a lovely place full of pretentious fools, figjam tradies and cashed up boomers who all think their ownership of the area is slightly larger than the next"

Having lived here for 30 odd years and seen Torquay/J.J change radically in the last 10 or so.....yeah, I totally agree with that.

"Thanks for interjecting on VL behalf"

My pleasure!

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 2:30pm

Ahh lets be honest Jan Juc was never much. Cheap housing in a gully with no village just more post war miserable subdivision with zero soul. Too harsh?

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 3:27pm

Or you could say it was a dirty paddock which has become a very desirable place to live due to the hard work of the exceptionally good looking and highly talented residents. House prices down here don't back up your argument memlasurf. PS love the pic.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 3:32pm

True house prices just about anywhere within cooee of the coast and Melbourne are through the roof. Yes I have friends in Jan Juc and they would like to consider themselves talented and good looking however I would send that decision through to the keeper so I can remain neutral.

T.Edds's picture
T.Edds's picture
T.Edds commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 7:32pm

I find drones interrupting my enjoyment of the natural environment an abhorrent disgrace.

It is pretty lame to be sitting out in the surf, seeking some relief in the natural environment. Only to have some voyeur buzzing around you.

Done footage and the associated music is such a d-grade perspective of surfing.

gazzee's picture
gazzee's picture
gazzee commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 9:12pm

was sitting out the back of my local break and a drone kept buzzing around it was dropping a fishos sinker and bait out the back...fucking up my serenity,about an hour later heard the drone squeeling then it dropped from the sky with the line wrapped around its props...karma....

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 9:57pm

Hope you held it under for good measure.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 10:39pm

I am not a lover of drones but they provide the best single camera perspective of the long point wave ride.
If you will allow me to call Skeleton Bay a point wave, there is no way Koa Smith's extraordinary ride could have have filmed with a single camera from the land or water.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bjKzJIu56oU

Tukrz's picture
Tukrz's picture
Tukrz commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 10:41pm

Shanghais for sale at local hardware, bb ammo included. Cow boys and Indians, just like the good old day only funner!

dazzler's picture
dazzler's picture
dazzler commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 9:16pm

The pilot is a bigger target than the drone & also stationary....just saying

Flogonalog's picture
Flogonalog's picture
Flogonalog commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 8:53am

Picture this: it’s mid-week, mid-day, no crowd, the waves are clean and peeling, the breeze is off shore, the sun is out, the dolphins are playing, the water is clear, and the gentle nnnnnneeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE of a drone joins in with the chorus of nature.

Ahhh the serenity.

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 9:37am

I thought there would be roaming swellnet data collecting drones by now. And I am waiting to hear what mister true blue has to say.

Twichy's picture
Twichy's picture
Twichy commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 1:31pm

Almost all areas of the CC are no-fly zones due to hospitals and helicopter fly zones.
Oh well......

Feralkook's picture
Feralkook's picture
Feralkook commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 5:06pm

Regardless of what changes they make, it will not make a bean of difference to idiots flying their RPAS over the lineup illegally. You gotta catch them in the act and that will be difficult. Given they are making it user pays that is an even bigger disincentive to operate legally. Over a grand for the machine, then registration fees which will most likely have to be renewed every three years. The only people who will do the right thing are the one's who already are doing the right thing.

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Sunday, 31 Mar 2019 at 7:43am

A sizeable drone crashed to the ground about 10m away from me on Sandon Point a few years ago. Would have messed me hair up a bit if it made a direct hit. Glad it missed.

MartinNow

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Sunday, 31 Mar 2019 at 8:07am

Goddamn drones. I farken' hate them.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 31 Mar 2019 at 11:01am

Police will be arrested if they breach 5km Dronezone.(Only law Drone Pilots know!)

Scientists track big bang sound even when the Earth farts.
Hunters can track a cockroach up a drainpipe or plankton under the SouthPole.
Rescue Mobs track jellyfish to Sharks on real time maps
Govt tracks your Phones / TV / Car / Boats/ Planes / Bank Accounts.

The only thing on Earth we can't track is GPS fitted DRONES. (WTF?)

27/3/2019 Casa Capt' Gibbo 'Drone squadron commander'... (Quote):
"...probably' 10's of 1000's,possibly even 100,000 but at this point we don't know"

Admittedly that's far more accurate than Qld State Govt statisticians.
Fucked if I know why, but even Aussies call that a fail Gibbo...Your Sacked! Bye Bye!

Open season on drones puts a stop to Cold Pizza Delivery & WWIII drone strikes.
How else to reclaim The Skies + Airports + NP / WSR / Estuaries / Chix Sun Decks

tbb copped one sweet on the forehead...Unplug the Flymos to restore World Peace.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 31 Mar 2019 at 1:08pm

Most operate heavy machines a lifetime teaching others laws of bikes/cars/trucks.
Drone 'experts' have a few years training and command up skirting to Cloudbanks.

Be my guest choose any YouTube footage for any number of Drone criminals.
All reported to Casa (mine Included). Where? You sure it was one of our guys?

Less than 5% of drones operate in research eg: Pizza Races between cbd's.
95% of Drones are to boost ego for unlawful YouTube vidz or Drone Racing
Drone Racers would never buy CASA approved lame rubbish.
Most Racers build their own faster models bypassing CASA Registration!

As above, where tbb was hit, after Fisherdrones ziplined gamefish thru SLSC beach.

Here's Gold Coast's recent act of terrorism as Drone sabotages Chopper Rescue.
https://www.facebook.com/7NewsGoldCoast/videos/drone-interrupts-rescue-a...
Spit Drivers / Campers / Nudists have Cops cops jumping out of bushes...Busted!
Mystery Drone Pilot has whole town at his mercy while pulling faces at cops.

Here's just a couple of laws breached...sure, feel free to add a dozen more.

1)Spit Aerodrome is a base for SeaPlanes & Helicopters (Fuck it)
2)Seaway is a boating / recreation thru- fare (for surfers also) (Fuck it)
3) South Straddie is in Southern Moreton Marine Park (Fuck it)
4) Beach/Walls/Water has people beneath drone. (Fuck it)
5) Helicopter Rescue in Progress (Fuck it)
6) Retreats via Seaway..via VMR/ASR Radio Control Tower. (Fuck it)

My brother in law was there describing it worse as Drone bossed the whole seaway.
We all saw the same with 2 day stand off at Major Airport...World at Drone's mercy.

How the hell is willingly terrorising a Sea Rescue/Airport not instant Jail Time?
I guess Dutto made it legal when PM John Howard's SAS stormed Tampa AMSAR?

Drone attacks on Rescue Choppers are increasing. Sorry game was up years ago!

CASA pockets the fee hikes but are too cowardly to mop up Zombie Squadron.
Qld Boys in Blue will sort it... "Step back behind yer mum's skirt CASA girliemen!"
https://www.aviassist.com.au/police-shoot-down-drone-near-restricted-area/

Wakebsa's picture
Wakebsa's picture
Wakebsa commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 2:59pm

The sooner those blasted things disappear from the air above the surf, the better. Few things are more obnoxious than the sound of battery-powered mosquitos in an otherwise enjoyable session.

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 3:53pm

Classic Thursday Swell Noosa during OMA and as my inner self exploded over RedBull Watercross Stink boat Ferry machine this pharken zingybuzz flapping about my jowels. Worlds gone made. Never has a paddle in been so infuriating and pleasurable at the same time.

djizzah's picture
djizzah's picture
djizzah commented Tuesday, 2 Apr 2019 at 4:55am

lawyers picnic

maka2000's picture
maka2000's picture
maka2000 commented Tuesday, 2 Apr 2019 at 8:50am

My mate looked at one of those certifications, so those muppets told him to get drone certification is almost the same as to get the pilot license. WTF? any kid could fly those drones. The authority is simply can't make their mind what they want. to fly a drone you don't need a special knowledge just a simple rules like do not fly over airport, might be don't go higher then 10km up and don't annoy a girls next door by flying next to her bedroom every now and then, that's it. pay $10 admin fees and here you go like a fishing license. But no! those muppets are trying to make it more and more comlicated, no wander why no onge give a [email protected] about those CASA anymore.