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3 Jan, 2015

Australia to toughen drone rules following several incidents – Sydney Morning Herald

Australia is set to have among the world’s toughest rules on drones after the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority rewrites its regulations in the new year.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said the “huge growth” in popularity of the flying “unmanned aerial vehicles” – which are helicopter-like craft, with GPS and cameras – meant regulations had to be “updated”.

At the moment drones for commercial use by police, fire services, aerial photographers and in some agricultural settings are regulated by CASA. Commercial users – there are 180 in Australia, a jump on only 34 in 2013 – need a licence. But recreational users do not.

Australia is already one of the few countries to strictly regulate increasing commercial drone use – Fairfax Media reported on Sunday that Melbourne real estate agents are now using them to capture views from apartments which are yet to be built for use in marketing.

Read the rest: Drone rules to be toughened in new year following several Australian incidents.