Drones have been increasingly in the news lately and in most cases it is usually a complete beat up about “near misses” and deadly drone dangers. Now lets be clear, there are idiots out there and YouTube is full of videos of idiots with drones doing things that are not only stupid but in a lot of cases illegal. But and this is a big but there are an estimated 50-80000 drones in Australia and the vast majority of people are sensible and fly their drone within the law. There have also been exactly ZERO incidents with regards to collisions between Aircraft and Drones but hey sensible, forward thinking regulation can be a way to make sure that the number stays at zero.
In Australia CASA has a long history of mostly sensible drone(or UAV) regulation and in September 2016 CASA introduced amendments CASR 101 which governs drones. These changes were widely regarding as cutting red tape and allowing for a good balance between safety and consumer usability. Essentially they allowed for the unlicensed commercial use of drones under 2KG so long as they followed the standard operating procedures listed in the document (all commons sense rules). This meant that the average consumer could take some video or photos with their drone and following a few simple rules be able to use that footage for commercial purposes, one of the things that this fixed was that if you place drone footage on YouTube and then monetized the video. Technically your $0.02 in ad revenue meant you were breaking the law. Now think about that, before the change if you wanted to sell the pictures or video you took with your drone, be it a $100 toy or a $2000+ prosumer drone you had to fork out anywhere between $6000 to $10000. So common sense prevailed and everyone lived happily ever after…… Or Not