What is the difference between a Drone, UAV, UAS, RPA and RPAS?

Essentially these terms correspond to the same subject and that is an airframe (i.e. multirotor or fixed wing) and a ground station controlling it (i.e. the pilot). The acronyms below have evolved over time and generally today the common term used is RPA which refers to a pilot and an airframe, or RPAS which includes the airframe, pilot and additional equipment or people (i.e. camera operators or spotters etc).


1. UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

2. UAS - Unmanned Aerial System

3. RPA - Remotely Piloted Aircraft

4. RPAS - Remotely Piloted Aircraft System


What are the Australian laws relating to RPAS operation?

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulates all aspects of aviation within Australia. CASR Volume 3, Part 101 specifically deals with drone operation legislation. There are many facets of consideration when operating an RPA but there are some basic regulations which must be adhered to. They are:


1. Visual Line of Sight during the day only (VLOS)

2. Not within 3nm (5.5km) of an aerodrome

3. Below 400'AGL (120m)

4. Not within 30m of vehicles, boats, buildings or people.


Exemptions may be given upon application by CASA for any of these limitations and additional planning time and costs are involved. UAS Imagery has an extremely good working relationship with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and maintains strict adherence to standard operating procedures and Australian Civil Aviation law.


Do you need to be licensed to operate a drone commercially?

The short answer is no, however there are several limitations on the type of UAS you intend to fly and whether or not you are operating under a CASA issued ReOC (Operating Certificate). All UAS Imagery pilots are professionally trained and hold CASA issued remote pilot licences. UAS IMAGERY also operates under a CASA issued operating certificate.


Does UAS IMAGERY have public liability insurance?

Yes. UAS IMAGERY has complete insurances covering all aspects of our operation. Our public liability insurance covers $20,000,000.


Where is UAS IMAGERY located?

UAS IMAGERY head office is located in Brisbane, Australia, however we are willing and equipped to travel nationwide to complete projects. Contact us to discuss tailored options for your company.


What type of equipment does UAS IMAGERY use?

Our equipment includes sensors and UAVs to complete many different applications of aerial surveying and mapping. We are able to complete projects using RGB, multi-spectral or thermal imaging sensors. We are equipped to handle projects requiring a single asset inspection or several hundred hectares of agricultural land. Contact us to discuss specific solutions for your tailored application.


Is UAS IMAGERY an endorsed member of the Australian Certified UAV Operators (ACUO) network?

Yes. By actively being associated with the Australian Certified UAV Operators network (along with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority), we are able to stay ahead on all the regulatory requirements and industry standards. UAV operators are unable to be associated with this group unless they are licensed and/or insured.


Does UAS IMAGERY need permission to fly?

Not always. Permissions are needed for some operations and always for operations that encounter airspace used near airports. Watch the video below for more information on how we mitigate risk for flights around controlled airspace.

What if I have a question that isn't listed here?

If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us directly to discuss how we can provide a solution for your company's needs.