Remotely Piloted Aircraft Policy - Lake Gairdner


    The new National Parks and Wildlife Regulations (National Parks) 2016, which came into effect on 1 September 2016, clarify that it is an expiable offence to fly remotely piloted aircraft such as drones over South Australia’s national parks and reserves without a permit.


This means that:

  1. Personal/recreational drone flying is not permitted at Lake Gairdner without DEWNR's approval (approval is gained by applying through the Filming Application form)
  2. DLRA has no authority to approve drone flights.
  3. Only operators approved by DEWNR can use drones, and it is only these approved drone users that can be directed by the DLRA to safe and appropriate zones for flight.


The DLRA Remotely Piloted Aircraft Policy applies.



What is an RPA?
An RPA is an unmanned aerial vehicle (including drones), piloted by remote control or on-board computers and were previously known as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). At DLRA events they are generally used to obtain vision from the air.


Can an RPA be used at a DLRA permitted event?
An RPA can be used at a DLRA permitted event providing permission has been obtained from DEWNR.


What is the difference between an RPA operator and an RPA controller?
A controller is someone who flies the UAV and an operator is usually a company or person who has the licence to operate the RPA.


What does the DLRA need be aware of in regards to operation of an RPA?

In short, the DLRA must ensure:

  • All drone operators have obtained a permit from DEWNR
  • There are no more than five RPAs in operation at any one time.


Does the media organisation need to agree to have a RPA operator or controller on site?

Yes, the media organisation must be aware who is on site at all times.


What paperwork is required?

The RPA operator is like any other contractor at a DLRA event – they need to provide a copy of the approved appropriate DEWNR permit to the event organiser to meet both the DLRA Safety 1st documentation process and requirements stated in the DLRA Safety 1st Checklist for contractors.


Does the DLRA need to approve an RPA operator?

No, the media organisation may select their own RPA operator, as long as they have complied with DEWNR requirements and obtained the necessary permission.


Where do I find a CASA certified RPA operator?

Currently there are approximately 260 entities registered under the commercial CASA requirements.


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