Drone flyers in South East Queensland have met up for a fun flying day at the Beachmere Sports Ground for the second month in a row. Moreton Bay Council have given permission for drone flyers to use the facility and any Moreton Bay Council Parks, as long as the CASA regulations are adhered to and there are no signs saying otherwise.
A Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) researcher came to chat to drone flyers, racers and model aircraft flyers from as part of his work helping to set up the new registration process for drones in the next few months.
He was interested in the views of all drone flyers who are going to need to register their drones with CASA. The registration process will include a proposed annual fee of $20 for recreational flyers and $100 - $160 for commercial flyers with an online mandatory education programme for drone flyers to ensure they are aware of the regulations.
There is much debate in the drone community as to whether this system will help with enforcement of the regulations, as it is feared that the so called "cowboy" operators will not register. The majority of flyers are aware and compliant with regards to the CASA regulations and are not opposed to registration.
The SES also attended the site for a photo shoot on the day, and were interested in the technology and how it may assist in emergency situations.
The field continues to be used by drone flyers as an excellent resource, away from homes and surrounded by bushland, it is the perfect place for flyers to practice and hone their skills in a large, safe and well maintained environment. The flyers hope to be able to use the site for events and get togethers throughout the year.
Drone technology has taken off (pun intended) in recent years and Australia is at the forefront of the research and development of this booming industry. Shark patrol, surf lifesaving, search and rescue, mining, mapping, delivery services, are just a few of the initiatives in Australia.
Local drone enthusiast and photographer Jessica Culley says, "This is a fantastic resource for the drone community and model aircraft flyers. We have had a lot of interest from the people of Beachmere who come and watch and have a chat while we are flying there. We are hoping to promote drones as a fun hobby for people of all ages and overturn some of the negative publicity that surrounds drones.”