As you might already know, the drone laws in Gold Coast is rather complicated. That is why at Drone Laws we have tried to make it as simple as possible with our guides. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn drone laws in Sydney or Brisbane, we’ve got you covered.

We even try to put it into plain English so that everyone can understand it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a schoolkid or just a hobbyist, there’s always something new out there for you to learn about drones.

Drone laws often seem so murky and confusing, we’ve all been there. But why? The world of drones was created as a fun and innovative way to do more with your life.

Whether you’re taking aerial shots for real estate, getting more traffic over clients’ storefronts, or even just kickin’ it at home — there are a lot of possibilities regarding drone use. However, before you take off and fly that quadcopter, you need to know the laws (or lack thereof).

The purpose of this article is to provide drone operators with the specifics and loopholes of legal operating in PIPA-protected areas, when in Australia.

Fly In Daylight And Within 120 Metres

The maximum permitted distance is 120m, depending on the operating conditions at the time. This is the maximum distance permitted by CASA.

CASA stands for Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which is Australia’s law authority on drone flying and related technology.

Do Not Fly Your Drone Higher Than 400 Feet

Drone Laws Gold Coast

The maximum height you can fly your drone is 400 feet above ground level. If you see another drone that is in the air, do not try to capture it. It may be an official drone that is being controlled by a law enforcement officer or other public employee and it could be dangerous to try and grab hold of it.

Always respect the privacy of others while using your drone, even if you are on private property. Do not take photos or video of people without their permission, unless they have given permission for you to do so as part of a business transaction.

Keep Your Drone Within Sight At All Times.

You must keep your drone within sight at all times. If you need to fly your drone more than 500 feet away from you, you must have a second person spot for the drone. The spotter can be someone who is licensed as well or an adult who has experience flying drones.

The spotter will focus on the drone while you focus on flying the aircraft from its remote location. Most drones have a maximum range of 1200 metres (4000 feet) so it’s important that you keep your aircraft in sight at all times.

Do Not Fly A Drone That Weighs More Than 25 Kilograms.

  • Do not fly a drone that weighs more than 25 kilograms.

This is a CASA regulation, but it’s also for your own good. You don’t want to be dropping a heavy drone on yourself or anyone else from great heights.

In addition to the above rules, you’re responsible for knowing and following all of the latest drone regulations regarding where you can fly.

CASA has issued interim guidelines for recreational operators in Australia, which state that you must “Always keep drone at least 30 metres away from other people.” A full list of regulations can be found on their website.

Maintain A Distance Of At Least 30 Metres

  • You are required to maintain a distance of at least 30 metres from other people.
  • You are also required to maintain a distance of at least 30 metres from property that does not belong to you unless you have approval from the owner or occupier.
  • If you cannot maintain this distance, you must get approval from the owner or occupier.

Do Not Operate A Drone If You Have Consumed Alcohol

You must not operate a drone if you have consumed alcohol or drugs or if you are tired.

In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is responsible for regulating the operation of drones. CASA has also published some guidelines to help drone users operate safely and legally within their requirements.

Unless approved by CASA, you must not fly a drone more than:

  • 120 metres above ground level; or
  • 400 feet above ground level;

And in any case, no higher than 400 feet above ground level.

Fly Drones At Least 5.5 Kilometres Away From Controlled Aerodromes.

To ensure that your drone flying is safe and lawful, you must follow CASA regulations, which include:

  • Flying your drone at least 5.5 kilometres away from any airport or helicopter landing site. Make sure you check the CASA Dronefly website to locate airports and helicopter landing sites in the area before take-off.
  • Flying your drone at least 30 metres away from other people and property, unless you have permission from these people or owners of this property to fly within 30 metres of them.
  • Flying your drone at least 120 metres away from the operator if flying as part of commercial operations, or else ensuring that a visual observer is maintaining direct eye contact with the drone at all times if flying recreationally (and is within 120 metres of the operator).

You Cannot Operate A Drone Near Aircraft

  • You cannot operate a drone near aircraft or emergency situations, such as fires and flood operations.
  • You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway, without approval from the police officer in charge.
  • You must keep your drone at least 5.5 kilometres away from controlled aerodromes at all times, unless approval has been given by air traffic control.

You Need To Follow Civil Aviation Laws

Make sure your drone is registered and marked with a CASA-issued registration number. This can be done through the CASA portal or by mail.

The rules for flying drones under 2 kg are designed to protect air safety without affecting your ability to enjoy your drone. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:

  • You can’t fly higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above the ground.
  • You must fly your drone at least 30 metres away from other people and stay well clear of emergency situations, such as fires or car accidents. If you are taking part in first responder operations, you must have approval from the police or emergency service organization before flying near their activities.
  • You can’t fly within 5.5 kilometres of an airfield (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft take-off and land).

Are Drones Allowed In Gold Coast?

Drones Can Be Flown In Gold Coast

If you plan to fly your drone in Gold Coast airspace, you must follow the rules and regulations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). All drones or unmanned aircraft are required to be registered and operators must pass theory and practical tests before they can fly. The safety rules of CASA also include:

  • The drone must always be kept within visual line-of-sight of the operator
  • The drone cannot be flown over or near an area that is covered by a standard air traffic control (ATC) clearance such as a restricted airspace.

Small Drones Must Be Flown Within Visual Line-of-sight

  • Keep your drone within your visual line of sight at all times.
  • Don’t fly higher than 120 metres or above 400 feet.
  • Keep your drone at least 30 metres away from people and property, including yourself, no matter how high you are flying.
  • Don’t fly over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway (without prior approval). This could include situations such as a car crash, police operations, a fire and associated firefighting efforts, and search and rescue.
  • Always observe privacy guidelines while flying drones in the Gold Coast. Photographs should not be taken without consent from persons who could reasonably expect privacy in the circumstances (eg: sunbaking on a private balcony).

Rules And Regulations Relating To Small Drones Of Less Than 2 Kg.

Anyone who wants to fly a drone for commercial purposes must start by studying for and passing the online theory test on the rules and regulations relating to small drones of less than 2 kg.

The test covers topics such as the rules that relate to small drones and the regulations that govern their use. It consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 60 minutes to complete.

The pass mark is a score of 75%. A certificate will be issued once you have passed this online test and then you can register with your local council.

Pass An Operational Test

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has developed a training course specifically for operating unmanned aircraft safely and legally.

The first stage of this course is free; it covers how the drone works and how to operate it safely. If you then wish to obtain your remote pilot license, you will need to complete the second stage of the training course. This includes learning about aviation safety, rules and regulations.

Drones Are Banned From Flying Near Airports Without Permission

There are many airports in Australia and some of these airports have large exclusion zones where it is not permitted to fly drones.

One such airport is the Gold Coast Airport located in Bilinga. The 5.5km exclusion zone around this airport begins at ground level and extends up to 1500 feet above ground level so even though you may not see any aero planes in the sky, you cannot fly your drone there.

If you want to fly your drone near this airport, then you have to get permission from air traffic control before doing so.

There are other airports that also have exclusion zones around them which only allow drones within certain areas but they are not as big as the one at Gold Coast Airport.

You Are Also Prohibited From Flying Your Drone Over Populated Beaches Or Parks

As part of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations, drone operators must not fly higher than 120 metres. You are also prohibited from flying your drone over populated beaches or parks when there are people present below you because it is considered too dangerous in case of an accident with someone on the ground.

Some of these restrictions can be a challenge if you want to film large crowds at events such as music concerts. However, if you want to get a bird’s eye view and film scenery such as the surfers at Burleigh Heads, it is perfectly safe to do so as long as you keep your drone out of any restricted areas and fly within the limits set by CASA.

How To Register Drone In Gold Coast

How To Register Drone In Gold Coast

To Register Your Drone You Need To Visit The Casa Website

You can register your drone by visiting the CASA website, which is:


Provide Some Personal Information

It’s time to register your drone.

Provide some personal information:

> name

> email

> telephone number

> address

> date of birth

> driver’s licence number

  • Don’t worry, we don’t share this information – we just need it for the registration!*

Pay The Registration Fee

To register your drone, you will need to pay a fee. The money from the registration fee helps to cover the costs of running and maintaining the drone registration system and provides funding for aviation safety.

If you want your permission to fly straight away, we recommend that you pay by credit card before applying. If you choose this option and apply online, we can issue your permission immediately after receiving your application.

If you do not pay by credit card when applying online, we will try to process your application within 10 business days of receiving it.

When Will I Get My Permission?

If you’ve paid online or by phone, your payment will be processed immediately. If you’ve sent a cheque, allow 10 working days for it to clear before contacting us.

After your payment is processed, you’ll get an email with your permission certificate. It should take about 10 minutes for CASA to send the email once we process your payment. Check the spam/junk folder in case it didn’t arrive in your inbox. If it’s still not there, contact us and we’ll follow up for you.

It Should Take About 10 Minutes.

Registering your drone should be a simple process that takes about 10 minutes. It is similar to drone registration processes in other countries and can be done online at the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) website. If you run into any issues, feel free to contact CASA by email or phone.

Frequently Asked Question (drone Laws Gold Coast)

Can I Fly My Drone Where I Want?

Yes, you can fly your drone anywhere you like, except in restricted areas. The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has a list of restricted areas which includes airports, prisons and other places where there is a high risk of an incident occurring.

  • You can’t fly over people or cars. You also need to consider where you are flying your drone from as it would be unsafe if a person accidentally walks into the path of your drone while it is airborne.
  • Don’t fly near airports without permission from air traffic control first – this includes airports with helipads for helicopters! They have restrictions on how close drones can come due to safety concerns so don’t take any risks by ignoring these rules even if they seem unfair or unreasonable at first glance because they aren’t there just for funnies; they exist because someone somewhere might potentially get hurt if something goes wrong during flight operations so please make sure everything is done correctly when flying within five nautical miles (9km) from any airport on land or sea – even those not listed here!
  • It’s illegal for anyone under 16 years old who isn’t supervised by someone over 18 years old (or older), meaning that anyone younger than 16 should not have access whatsoever until later down life road when able more responsibly handle such responsibilities legally.”

How High Can My Drone Go?

The maximum height of your drone is determined by its weight. A lightweight drone may be able to reach heights of up to 400 feet, but heavier drones must stay below 200 feet. The higher the altitude, the less control you have over your drone.

Can I Fly Over People?

You can only fly over people if you have permission from them. If you don’t have permission from the person, then you can only fly over them if they are not in a public place. If they are in a public place, then keep your drone at least 30m away from them.

Can I Fly At Night?

You must have permission from the landowner and air traffic controller to fly at night. You also need to be registered with CASA if you want to fly at night. Your drone needs lights so that it can be seen easily in the dark and it must also have its registration number on it.

Can I Fly Under The Influence Of Drugs Or Alcohol?

If you are remotely controlling a drone, then it is considered a vehicle. As such, the laws that apply to driving do also apply to flying a drone.

If you are drinking or taking drugs and operating your drone in Queensland, you could face serious penalties if caught by police.

Drink driving in Australia may result in fines of up to $1,400 and demerit points for first offenders. If caught drink driving again within 5 years of your previous offence you could receive higher fines and longer disqualification periods (more than 6 months). The maximum penalty for drink driving is 18 months imprisonment!


Drone Laws Gold Coast is a blog written for drone hobbyists and enthusiasts to provide them with all the required information about drone laws in Australia. The articles on this blog are updated with all the relevant laws for being a responsible drone pilot in Australia and how to be compliant with the laws. 

Drones are considered as an important part of the 21st century technology and are used by many industries for activities like surveillance and capturing photos from high altitudes. 

A lot of people also use drones to capture their special events or birthdays but they have little understanding of drone laws, that’s why Drone Laws Gold Coast has been started to help drone pilots become aware of the rules and regulations associated with flying a drone in Australia.

Similar Posts