Drones

OPERATION OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT VEHICLES (UAVs) IN PNG NAVIGABLE

The general public is advised that pursuant to the Civil Aviation Act 2000 (as amended), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of PNG (CASA PNG) is responsible for the safety and security of all civil aircraft operations within Papua New Guinea (PNG) navigable airspace from ground level to the 'upper altitude limits of the Port Moresby Flight Information Region. The Act classifies all UAVs as 'aircraft' and therefore subject to regulatory control by CASA PNG. UAVs are also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Drones. No person is therefore permitted to operate an unmanned aerial aircraft vehicle (UAV) within PNG airspace without special written authorization by CASA PNG in accordance with the terms ,and conditions of such authorization, permit or approval. Any UAV operation in PNG airspace can pose significant safety risks to all aircraft with particular emphasis on passenger aircraft, and CASA PNG therefore undertakes to ensure that all such UAV operations are subject to regulatory control so as to obviate flight safety and security risks to such passenger aircraft. CASA PNG in prioritising its aviation safety and security responsibilities. and obligations, is closely monitoring all UAV operations in PNG.

Unauthorised UAV operations have been brought to the attention of CASA PNG by complaints from members of the public, business organisations, aviation sector agencies, and through news media reports and social media posts.

The general public is advised that unauthorised UAV operations are subject to enforcement action, and operators are required to contact CASA PNG before planning any UAV operations.

A new Civil Aviation Rule (CAR) Partt specifically applicable to UAV/RPAS operations is currently under development and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be promulgated in the latter part of 2016. In developing Part 102 CASA PNG aims to achieve a good balance between the need to help UAV operators' foster growth in an emerging industry with a wide range of potential uses, and the requirement to ensure continued safety and security for all airspace users and people on the ground. During the ensuing period until promulgation of the new RPAS Part 102, the following guidelines for all UAVs operations are provided as follows:

1. Flying UAVs for Recreational Purposes:  

  • Contact CASA PNG first for a UAS/RPAS Activity Authorisation Permit
  • The UAV maximum total gross weight not exceeding 7 kilograms
  • Know the UAV flight characteristics and how to fly it safely
  • Ensure the aircraft is safe for flight before operating it
  • Fly the UAV only during daylight hours, in good weather and clear visibility.
  • Keep the UAV within your line of sight at all times
  • Keep the UAV a safe distance away from people, property and other aircraft (manned and unmanned}
  • Fly the UAV no higher than 300 feet AGL (above ground level)
  • Operate the UAV not closer than 4 nautical miles or 6 kilometers from any airport boundary or helicopter landing base
  • Do not fly the UAV over any crowds or populated areas such as beaches, other people's backyards, Parks, or sports ovals where a game is in progress.
  • DO NOT fly closer than 30 metres from vehicles, boats, buildings or people;
  • Ensure the operation of transmitting devices of the UAV systems complies with the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) requirements before flight

2. UAV Commercial Operations:

It is illegal to fly a UAV or drone for economic gain unless you have an authorisation from CASA PNG. Contact CASA PNG for a UAV /RPAS Commercial Operations Approval  UAV 0f any weight, size and description  Considered on a case-by-case basis

3. Other UAV operations:

Contact CASA PNG.
CASA PNG is developing a plan for the safe and incremental integration of RPAS, including new rule, policies and standards cover a wide range of UAV users, with the expected publishing of Part 102 in the early 2017.

The public is therefore notified that anyone desiring to fly any aircraft manned or unmanned in PNG airspace requires some level of CASA regulatory oversight and approval. Any person proposing to operate UAV must adhere to the above stated requirements. Individuals, businesses or corporate bodies that are not sure of the strict Civil Aviation Safety requirements should in the first instance contact the Director of Civil Aviation on telephone 302 7510 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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This site is about Trevor Michie's family. Trevor has family mainly in Victoria with a son and daughter (and  their families) in Perth, West Australia. He has in-laws in Papua New Guinea - Australia's closest neighbour.

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