Proposed new remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPAS operator accreditation scheme (PP 1816US)

Closed 22 Feb 2019

Opened 25 Jan 2019

Results updated 31 Jul 2019

Between 25 January and 22 February 2019, CASA consulted on a proposal to introduce remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPA operator accreditation.

We have reviewed each response and a summary of this feedback is provided below.

CASA will conduct further public consultation on proposed costs, through a separate consultation on a draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS).


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


In 2019, CASA proposes to introduce a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPA operator accreditation requirement, as a way of monitoring the safe and lawful operation of RPAs.  The registration and accreditation requirements are proposed to apply (with certain exceptions) to the following RPA:

  • RPA more than 250 grams operated recreationally and
  • all RPA operated commercially, including excluded RPA operations, regardless of weight.

The RPA registration and accreditation requirements are not proposed to apply to the following:

  • RPA 250 grams or less operated recreationally or
  • Model aircraft at CASA-approved model airfields or
  • RPA operated recreationally indoors.

This consultation seeks your comments on the detail of the proposed scheme.

The aim of the proposed new rules is to increase safety through increased compliance with the requirements:

  • ensuring everyone who flies a drone over 250 grams knows the rules
  • helping CASA to target the right safety information to the users who need it most
  • making it easier for authorities to identify when someone is breaking the rules.

Accreditation will be free. You will have to do an online education course – basically, watch a video and answer a quiz on the drone rules that apply to you. However, if you already hold a drone licence you will not have to do this course.

The cost of registration has yet to be determined by CASA.  The cost will depend on whether you fly your drone for fun or profit. It is likely to be a $20 or less annual fee (per person) for recreational drones and for some model aircraft operators. There will also be an annual registration fee likely to range from $100 to $160 per drone, for each commercial drone.

Why your views matter

Why we are consulting

As part of the development of aviation rules, CASA consults with the community to ensure the rules will work in practice as they are intended.

We have a responsibility under section 9 of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 for the safety regulation of civil air operations, including drones, in Australian territory.

The Government supported the introduction of a mandatory accreditation and registration system for drones last year. This was in a response to the recommendation from a Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport inquiry.

How to complete this consultation

The consultation will ask you questions in relation to the detail of the registration and accreditation scheme. Each question will include key points and further reading from the relevant sections of the following two documents:

  • Policy Proposal – Proposed new remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPAS operator accreditation scheme
  • Annex A - Policy statement - Proposed new remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) registration and RPAS operator accreditation scheme.

These documents include content about how the scheme will work in practice. They are attached below under ‘Related’. Please note, throughout these documents CASA uses the term remotely piloted aircraft  (RPA) to refer to a drone.

Recent industry feedback

CASA has previously consulted with the community on drone registration and accreditation.

In November 2018, a group of drone industry experts met to consider drone registration and accreditation. This technical working group, made up of industry representatives, was established by the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) to direct our engagement with industry and seek input on regulatory and associated policy approaches. The group strongly supported the introduction of a scheme. However, there were some concerns expressed about the impact on some model aircraft owners and operators.

In August/September 2017, CASA published a drone discussion paper. The majority of respondents also supported some form of registration, training and proficiency when the weight of the drone was taken into account.


What happens next

CASA will register and review each submission received through this online response form. We will make all submissions publicly available here on the Consultation Hub unless you have requested that your submission remain confidential. We will also publish a summary of consultation which will summarise all the feedback we received.

Once we have considered public feedback, CASA will work to introduce a drone registration and accreditation scheme. To minimise risks associated with the supporting information technology systems, a staged implementation is planned whereby registration and accreditation are progressively introduced:

  • RPA operator certificate (ReOC) holders (registration only)
  • Excluded RPA operators (Sub 2k and flying over your own land) (accreditation and registration)
  • Recreational drone operators (accreditation and registration)


  • CASA Staff
  • Sports aviation operators
  • Drone operators


  • Drones/uncrewed aircraft systems
  • Sport and recreational aviation