Drones are ‘unmanned aircraft’ where the flying pilot is not onboard the aircraft. Drones are also known by other names including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).
All drone operations are regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) through Civil Aviation Safety Act and Regulations. All drone operators must abide by the CASA ruling CASR Part 101 and Manual of Standards (MOS).
Before operating any drones for Flinders University purposes, you must contact the Chief Remote Pilot on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drone WHS responsibilities
Pilot in Command
The Pilot in Command is the person who has the authority to influence or direct the actions of students, staff members and volunteers involved in the drone activity. This responsibility extends for the entire duration of the drone operation.
Remote Pilots must
- ensure that adequate consideration has been given to any health and safety issue that may arise during drone missions.
- register all drones owned and flown by the University with CASA through the Chief Remote Pilot.
- be registered with an Aviation Reference Number (ARN).
- have appropriate training / competency to operate the drone (i.e. Remote Pilot Licence (RePL), University drone induction, flight log).
- provide appropriate guidance and supervision, appropriate resources and prepare for any emergencies that may arise while operating the drone.
Observers / spotters
All persons undertaking observing / spotting activities for drone operations must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and take reasonable care that their acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. This is a legal obligation under the Work Health and Safety legislation. Observers / spotters are required to maintain communication with extended line of sight operations to provide the drone location to the pilot to assist with safe operation. Observers and spotters must follow the directions of the Pilot in Command.
Planning and approval process
All Flinders University remote pilots undertaking drone operations under the University's Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator's Certificate (ReOC) must have read the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Operational Procedures and Operations Manual and be registered on the RPA Manager system.
All drone missions must be documented, risk assessed and approved with the Chief Pilot prior to undertaking the drone mission.
Pilots need to ensure they have the relevant competency for the drone class prior to flying the mission. They must also ensure the required mission information is completed, including
- job safety analysis
- where a job safety analysis identifies an uncontrolled risk, a risk assessment / control form will need to be completed
- flight plan / map of the mission area
- evidence of pilot competency and drone / RPA registration
- where the drone operation is part of a field trip, completed a field trip proposal in FlinSafe
- where relevant, completed a Flinders University induction and contractor registration
Reporting accidents/incidents for drone operations
All accidents/incidents that occur as part of drone operations must be reported to the Chief Remote Pilot and via the WHS FlinSafe system where possible within 24 hours.