Australian Association for Unmanned Systems
Release of 2017 Annual Report
2 Dec 2017 - Want to know more about all the great work AAUS has been doing for the industry? Find out more in our annual report (members must log in):
25 Nov 2017 - AAUS is advocating for increased funding for CASA to better support the rapidly growing Remotely Piloted Aircraft / Drone sector.
The commercial RPAS/drone industry is experiencing unprecedented growth. Earlier this month the number of CASA-certified businesses providing commercial RPAS services surpassed 1,200; more than the number of current Air Operators Certificate holders in Australia. This figure does not include the 7,700 other individuals and companies providing commercial RPAS services under the “excluded category”. That’s 9,000 new RPAS commercial operators added to the general aviation industry over the last five years. We expect this growth to continue, and within the next decade we predict the remotely piloted aviation sector to be larger in number and deliver significantly more economic benefit than all existing sectors of General Aviation combined.
Under CASA's current fixed budget, personnel and resources needed to support other aviation industry sectors are being used to meet the high demand of the RPA/Drone sector. Resources required to deliver regulatory services to RPAS/drone sector come at the direct expense of the delivery of regulatory services to other aviation sectors. AAUS believes that this situation will not lead to the best safety outcome for the Australian aviation industry. For this reason, AAUS is advocating for an increase in CASA resources to ensure the continued high standard of safety across all aviation sectors.
Read our letter to The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport at the below link.
Special Notice - Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS): Call for Submissions
June 21, 2017 - The Defence Innovation Hub (Hub), an initiative of the Australian Government’s Department of Defence (Defence) has been established to support Australian companies, businesses, and academic and research organisations in the collaborative development of innovative solutions with the potential to enhance Australian Defence Force capability. A Special Notice allows a Defence Business Unit that has a specific problem or technical challenge to utilise the Defence Innovation Hub as a platform for engaging industry to solve that problem.
The Director Army Aviation has a role to support the Chief of Army in the sustainment of in service helicopters and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). This Special Notice is seeking to identify innovative SUAS concepts that may be explored and potentially developed in collaboration with the Director Army Aviation and Vendor/s, in order to provide improved capability for the Army. The immediate opportunity for Industry Vendors is to apply for funded exploration and development of suitable SUAS concepts with Army Aviation. Director Army Aviation is seeking applications from Industry and will select one or more eligible Solutions/Vendors that meet assessment criteria to participate in the exploration and development of solutions to the challenge.
CASA release "Can I Fly There" App
May 24 2017 - CASA has released an easy-to-use smartphone app illustrating where you’re not allowed to fly your drone. These areas include within 5.5km of controlled aerodromes, in approach and departure paths of non-controlled aerodromes and helicopter landing sites, as well as in restricted or military airspace. The app also highlights ‘caution’ areas around unregistered aerodromes where aircraft could be flying. The ‘Can I fly there?’ drone safety app reflects the standard operating conditions for those flying their drone commercially (under the excluded category of commercial operations) and is a valuable educational and situational awareness tool for both commercial and recreational drone flyers.
AAUS congratulates CASA on the initiative and encourages drone operator's to use the app as part of their risk management processes. The app can be downloaded from: https://www.casa.gov.au/droneapp
May 10 2017 - The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee (committee) is currently conducting an inquiry into the regulatory requirements that impact on the safe use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Unmanned Aerial Systems and associated systems (drones). Today, the committee released a media statement which described recommendations made to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP in April to strengthen regulation of drones, particularly surrounding the use of recreational drones. The recommendations encouraged action in 3 key areas:
Read full media statement:
Press Release: AAUS Urges for Cool Heads to Prevail on Drone Regulation Discussion
19 April 2017 - In response to the recent call by Senator Barry O’Sullivan to take urgent action over the sale and regulation and sale of drones in Australia due to the risk that they pose to manned aircraft, the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) is advocating for a rational discussion on the regulation of drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) based on fact.
ATSB releases drone safety research report
20 March 2017 - The ATSB has released a research report into the safety of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or drones (dated March 16 2017).
The report finds that while there have been no reported collisions between RPAS and manned aircraft in Australia, the number of encounters is increasing and that the potential consequences of collisions are not yet fully understood.
“Our report seeks to better understand the implications for transport safety associated with the expected continual growth in the number of RPAS in Australia,” ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood said.
Avalon 2017 "Transforming Australia with Drone Technology" Conference Presentations Available
6 March 2017 - Over 200 delegates attended the AAUS Transforming Australia with Drone Technology conference held in association with the Avalon Airshow last week. An impressive array of speakers presented and engaged with industry on future ADF programs and emerging civilian applications. Some feedback by senior Defence Officers included:
Presentations are now being made available for members at the following link.
Avalon 2017 "Transforming Australia with Drone Technology" Conference Program
25 January 2017 - AAUS is back at the Australian International Airshow in 2017 hosting the “Transforming Australia with Drone Technology” conference. This year’s event will focus on the growth and utility of unmanned aerial systems for both military and civilian applications and includes a National Drone Photo Competition as well as the usual networking functions.
The event will be held at RMIT University, Melbourne CBD and at Avalon over 3 days (February 26 - 28, 2017).
DELWP Advanced Tender Notice
21 January 2017 - The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have advised AAUS that they have published an Advanced Tender Notice (ATN) for a tender that they are preparing for the creation of a new panel of providers for Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) services (RTF: 332873). The tender aims to create a new panel of providers with high endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) that can effectively operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), at high altitude above 400 feet (~ 122 meters) for long range flights of more than 4 (four) continuous hours of flight using a range of technology to capture and transmit images, video and other measurements (data) for use by the department.
National Drone Photography Competition
13 January 2017 - Running along side our Transforming Australia with Drone Technology conference in association with Avalon 2017, AAUS, together with event sponsor Flight Data Systems is proud to announce the inaugural National Drone Photography Competition. This annual competition aims to: (i) recognise the skill and artistry that goes into capturing aerial imagery from a drone; (ii) showcase and promote the Australian drone photography industry; and (iii) foster greater public awareness of the positive application for drones.Got a great image? Want to be nationally recognised for your skills? Want to named as one of Australia's best drone photographer? Then enter your image now!
23 November 2016 - CASA has announced that the motion to disallow the a mended CASR Part 101 has been withdrawn. The amended CASR 101 is seen as an important step in a program of ongoing regulatory reform to the industry. However, much more still needs to be done. Read AAUS' full response at the below link.
Members can Vote now for AAUS Board
9 November 2016 - The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems Incorporated will be held in Melbourne on Friday 25th November, 2016. In accordance with the Rules of AAUS, financial AAUS members are invited to vote on the make up of the Board of Directors.
Preliminary Notice of 2016 Annual General Meeting
10 October 2016 - Advance Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems Incorporated will be held in Melbourne on Friday 25th November, 2016, place and time to be advised. Formal Notice of the AGM will be sent to all members at least 21 clear days prior to the AGM. This early advice is being provided so members can consider whether they wish to stand for election either to the Board of Directors or to the Executive Committee, and also whether they wish to raise any matters for discussion and determination at the AGM. Members can view more information and download Board nomination forms from the link below.
Motion to Disallow CASR101 - AAUS President Responds
7 October 2016 - AAUS President Dr Reece Clothier is dismayed by the indication that members of parliament will motion to disallow the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 101. The basis of their argument is the increasing number of incidents, which are largely the result of young hobby users who got a drone for Christmas.
AAUS Conference at Avalon 2017 - Transforming Australia with Drone Technology
6 October 2016 - AAUS will be back at the Airshow in 2017 with a conference event that will focus on the growth and utility of unmanned aerial systems for both military and civilian applications.
The major themes of discussion will be Defence of our Nation, Building a successful Drone Business and Regulatory Development. The conference will explore these themes through conference presentations, panel discussion and a series of debates. Networking sessions will provide further opportunity for discussion in a relaxed atmosphere.
AAUS Launches Drone Operator Accreditation Program
28 September 2016 - AAUS has as announced an accreditation program to foster professionalism and airmanship across the drone industry. There has been much industry debate over the amended Civil Aviation Safety Regulations, which come into force on the 29th of September. AAUS is supportive of the risk-based approach adopted by CASA but concedes there is a need for additional initiatives to ensure a high standard of professionalism across the sector, particularly for those operators in the newly created “excluded category”. AAUS President, Dr Reece Clothier said "AAUS’ aim is to see a safe and prosperous drone industry here in Australia, and we believe professional accreditation is a necessary supplement to the formal CASR 101 regulation”.
23 September 2016 - The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have released an easy to use guide on the new regulations. Education and outreach are our best tools to addressing the risk uninformed drone operators pose to the public and the professionalism of our industry. So I encourage you to share it far and wide!
15 September 2016 - The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have ramped up in their preparations for the changes to CASR101, which come in to force on the 29th September 2016. New advisory materials have been released including:
The latter of which is open for comment and we encourage all members to review and provide feedback to CASA. CASA have also released information on how commercial operators of very small RPA (< 2kg) can provide notification to CASA of their intent to fly (link here).
AAUS will continue to provide updates on the changes to the regulations and as new material is released.
09 September 2016 - AAUS' Unmanned Systems Conference, which was held in association with the Land Forces 2016 event, was a major success. The conference was opened by former Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AC, AKC (ret'd), and was followed by presenters from Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Army, Air Force and Navy; providing important insights into the $6.5B in Defence project spending on UAS to occur over the next 22 years. The conference provided industry and defence a valuable opportunity to engage with the discussion focussing on opportunities for Australian industry. Members and attendees can access the presentations on the members only section of the website shortly (here). AAUS have also made a press release below:
26 August 2016 - At AAUS we are often asked by prospective employers and job seekers about career opportunities in the industry AAUS is now pleased to offer its members a free advertising service through its website. This will allow members to broaden their search for skilled employees, through the posting of vacancies to a publicly searchable listing on our website. This is one of a suite of new services and benefits we offer to our members. To view or post a vacancy visit the below link (note: you must be logged in to post a vacancy).
25 August 2016 - We have all experienced the frustration of long processing times for regulatory applications. To address this issue, CASA have issued an instrument of delegation to Melbourne-based company Flight Data Systems, which enables the company to process applications for UOCs on behalf of CASA. New and existing UOC applicants can request to have their application processed using the service offered by Flight Data Systems. Companies issued with a delegation of authority are subject to strict oversight by CASA to ensure a consistent and high standard of services.
AAUS applauds CASA for the establishment of this initiative and welcomes any such initiative that will improve the delivery of regulatory services to our sector. More information on the delegation of authority can be found at the below links:
13 August 2016 - The amended CASR 101 regulations has divided the industry. AAUS has carefully considered the amended legislation and released a position statement in support of the risk based approach adopted by CASA. Whilst it is acknowledged there will be a commercial impact on our members, the focus needs to remain on safety. The new regulations present new commercial opportunities for the industry and will remove much of the regulatory overhead currently applied to a low risk sector of our industry. AAUS recognises the challenge that "underground" commercial operators pose to the safety and professionalism of our industry. These operators exist now due to the regulatory framework we have in place. AAUS has a proactive three-pronged approach towards addressing this challenge. We encourage you to read the position statement (link below) and contribute to the discussion via LinkedIn.
11 August 2016 - An updated program has been released for the Unmanned Systems in Defence conference at Land Forces 2016. The 2016 conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre during the Land Forces event (September 6-8, 2016) and will focus on unmanned technologies relevant to future defence programs. The conference has been well supported by Defence and Industry and the program contains key presentations from Army, Navy and Air Force.
14 July 2016 - Quick Look 130 (QL130) is holding a capability demonstration for the Australian SUAS industry to show its capabilities, products and services to Defence. The capability demonstration will consist of a flight demonstration and a static ground display. The date of the capability demonstration is Tuesday 30th August 2016. Both the flight demonstration and the static ground display will be held in the Canberra area.
RPDE Quicklook 130: Survey of Australian SUAS Industry
08 July 2016 - Quick Look 130 (QL130) was established by Army Headquarters, to address the following question around Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) capability: “How could the Australian Defence Force acquire, maintain and update an SUAS fleet to deliver and sustain a capable SUAS capability over the Life of Type and provide greater opportunity for Australian industry involvement?” QL130 is conducting a survey to obtain information about the Australian SUAS industry and Australian SUAS.
RPDE Quicklook 130: Assessing Australian Industry to Deliver and Support a SUAS Fleet for the ADF
21 June 2016 - The Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation (RPDE) program supports the Australian Defence Organisation to address complex issues and problems and deliver innovation quickly by engaging directly with industry. Quicklook 130 (QL130) at RPDE was established by the Sponsor, Army Headquarters, to address the following question: “How can Defence assist in developing the ability of the Australian SUAS Industry such that it will improve the availability of high quality equipment and services?” QL130 seeks to engage with the Australian SUAS industry to determine its capacity to deliver and support an SUAS fleet for the ADF.
AAUS Engages End Users at Transport Infrastructure Conference
17 June 2016 - AAUS is actively promoting professionalism across all sectors of the industry. Part of our strategy involves greater engagement with end users. This week, AAUS presented at the 8th Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference to educate end users on the capability of RPAS, on the regulations
that apply to RPAS operators, and on what to look for when contracting RPAS
CASA to establish RPAS Task Force
13 June 2016 - CASA is seeking expressions of Interest (EoI) from RPAS Industry representatives to form a task force with a remit to safely maximise indigenous innovation, investment and growth by supporting key activities including RPAS roadmap development, and establishing trial objectives designed to maximise the collective good for the nation’s UAS priorities and simultaneously address regulatory uncertainty.
AAUS Unmanned Systems in Defence Conference at Land Forces 2016
07 June 2016 - The Australian Association for Unmanned Systems conference at Land Forces 2016 will attract Defence, Industry & Academia from around the world to present, promote and discuss unmanned technologies. The 2016 conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre during the Land Forces event (September 6-8, 2016) and will focus on unmanned technologies relevant to future defence programs, particularly land force applications.
01 June 2106 - Airservices Australia is on the front foot with the release of its concept for remotely piloted aircraft operations around controlled aerodromes. Senior Advisor for Safety Programs at Airservices Australia, Mr Mark Rossiter announced the release of the concept document at the AAUS CivSec 2016 Conference.
24 May 2016 - The Commercial UAV Show Asia will bring together commercial communities to learn and see how UAV’s can help them save money, time and lives. Whilst, the exhibition will showcase the vast capabilities and applications of UAV’s, from surveillance and monitoring to surveying and delivery. This will include some of the world’s leading UAV manufacturers and their suppliers. Click below to find out more, including how to access this AAUS members' only discount.
9th April 2016 - The amendment to Part 101 of Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR 1998) will come into force in late September this year. There are substantial changes in the new legislation, which will have significant ramifications for existing certified operators and for new entrants to the civil remotely piloted aircraft industry. Navigating the regulations can be difficult. AAUS has released a simple guide to the new regulations.
8th April 2016 - AAUS, in association with CivSec Australia, will be hosting a free conference and educational seminar at CIVSEC 2016. The event will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 1, 2016 and includes an information session on new regulations, legal, and privacy issues.