Simple Sausage Sandwich Not to Regulators' Liking

15 November 2016

Much has been written about the increasing usage of drones and the possible opportunities, benefits and threats that they create. Regulators worldwide have been rushing to catch up with the craze. A recent report from Melbourne highlights why regulation is needed, even for small recreational drones.

Australian media reported recently that a Melbourne man, while hot-tubbing in his backyard, remotely piloted a drone 2 kilometres across a residential area, a main road, and a busy car park, in order to purchase a sausage sandwich from a charity BBQ being operated at a major hardware store. Naturally this feat of airmanship was recorded on video and posted on the Internet, and not surprisingly came to the attention of the civil aviation regulator CASA, which is reportedly now investigating the potential breach of laws which could result in substantial fines.

No doubt this was not what the pilot had in mind when he ordered “one with the lot please”.

On 29 September 2016, new regulations came into force across Australia to govern the use and operation of what are now called ‘Remotely Piloted Aircraft’ (RPA) – commonly referred to as drones. The changes were intended to address the increase in the number and uses of RPA across the country by reducing the red tape and associated costs for certain machines used in lower risk situations.

For further information on these new regulations and their impact, please click here.

This article was written by Simon Liddy, Partner, and David Derbyshire, Graduate-at-Law.

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