20th March 2020

Dear Members,

This week, the Deputy Prime Ministry announced a proposed relief package for the Australian Aviation industry relating to the impact of COVID-19. 

Being an emerging sector primarily comprised of small-to-medium enterprises, we are well aware that the drone industry is particularly sensitive to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis. AAUS is beginning to receive numerous reports from our members of the direct financial and operational impact of COVID-19, with some members already moving to suspend trade.

AAUS is also revising its operational direction to improve its ongoing viability and also to adapt to the changing needs of our members.

In the last 24 hours, we have written to the Deputy Prime Minister seeking consideration for the drone industry under the Governments proposed aviation industry relief package.

We have asked the Government to consider:

  • Temporary relief from CASA charges for drone related approvals. These costs form a large percentage of the total costs for many drone operations. The removal or reduction of these costs will boost the viability and keep industry working.
  • Delaying the proposed registration scheme for drones (or costs to drone operators) until the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
  • CASA being flexible with RPAS training organisations during the transition (by April 10) to be compliant with the Part 101 MOS

We understand that this is a preliminary list of relief items and we encourage members to contact AAUS to propose additional areas for consideration.

The drone industry believes that the largest benefit that drones bring to the current crisis will be economic: allowing a wide range of tasks to continue on by remote work, rather than projects or inspections being suspended for the duration of the crisis. We will be looking to promote this belief in coming weeks and months with your help. 

Regards,

Greg Tyrrell

Executive Director, AAUS