UAV Pilot Training in Australia

The market for Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) ‘pilots’ is growing. Many people are turning their hobby of flying radio controlled aeroplanes into a profession. Their passion for piloting has expanded from flying in designated aero-modelling locations to new heights. Even those with no experience have gone through training programs and are now working as professional UAV operators.

UAVFlying a (UAV) in Australia for commercial purposes requires a license. When money starts being made it is then considered for commercial purposes. So when the UAV is being used for purposes such as aerial photography, surveying, law enforcement, powerline inspections, agricultural operations, or low-level aerial mapping a license will be required.

Obtaining an operator’s certificate to ‘pilot’ a UAV requires general aviation knowledge in line with a private pilot’s license, and specific unmanned aircraft skills. Many of the same skills required by manned aircraft are also needed to aquire a UAV certificate cialis quebec. UAV’s are approved to be flown in visual meteorological conditions (VMC). And with approval the UAV’s may also be used in controlled airspace with CASA approval and coordination with Airservices Australia. For this reason there is extensive training required.

To obtain a Certificate to Control a UAV, you must:

  • Complete a manufacturer’s training program
  • Complete a flight training course
  • Pass a PPL theory exam (either helicoper of aeroplane)
  • Obtain a Flight Radiotelephone Certificate of Proficiency
  • Pass the I-REX instrument rating exam, or be granted an exemption if the aircraft will be operated in visual line of sight (VLOS) operations only.

A UAV type training course is required as a part of the manufacturer’s training program. This training can be done either through the manufacturer itself, an agent for the manufacturer, a UAV Operator Certificate holder, an approved flight training organisation, or an MAAA approved instructor engaged with CASA.

Passing the 3.5 hour Private Pilot License (PPL) theory exam with a 70 percent is required to obtain a UAV operator certificate. Flight training courses to prepare for the exam typically run for 3 full weeks. The exam is then administered by an authorised Supervisor and takes place at an approved flying school.

Training for the Flight Radiotelephone Certificate of Proficiency can either be done through self study or a half day training course. Some PPL theory courses also include training for this certificate. The 1.5 hour 30 question exam and oral text must be passed at 90 percent.

An Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) rating exam exemption can be obtained if you will not be flying in weather requiring instrument flying. Otherwise an Instrument Rating Examination (I-REX) is required. A private pilot’s license is required before being permitted to take a full two week I-REX course. The three hour long I-REX is passed with a minimum of 70 percent proficiency.

Some UAV Operators require a class 2 medical certificate. If this is required by your Operator, you will need to have that completed before applying for the UAV Controller Certificate.

Once all of the training, exams, certificates, and/or exemptions have been completed you may apply to CASA for your UAV Controller Certificate. Then you are ready to start your profession at a UAV ‘pilot’. Whether photographing, surveying, or inspecting, this is sure to be fulfilling career.

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Categories: UAV


  • andre sidler says:

    do you have a lead for where I can attend a required UAV course.

    • flightadmin says:

      A quick search will reveal a few. There are quite a few – It depends if you are doing it as a hobby or as a career because if you want a job out of it you need to look for ones that are CASA certified. Hope that helps!

  • Roger Swain says:

    Can you give me an idea of the estimated overall cost to obtain an UAV Licence please?

  • Jmc says:

    Is this law or just a recommendation that a course should be done prior to operating commercially

    • flightadmin says:

      CASA requires it for commercial operation. I am not sure about the legal details but I would not do otherwise.

  • ferlin t. laxamana says:

    what are the requirement needed to enroll in uav course

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