Re: Submission to Draft Local Law 2
I am writing to make a submission to the Draft Local Law 2.
My submission is for the inclusion of laws relating to drone flying…. Remotely Piloted Aircraft Flying and Model Aircraft
- That persons not launch, fly, land, control or operate a drone for fun or sport or recreation on Council land, Reserves, public spaces and anywhere that may cause danger to general public.
- That commercial drone flying be prohibited on Council land, Reserves, public spaces and anywhere that causes danger to general public.
- That commercial drone flying be restricted in certain areas of the Shire
- Local Law include the CASA definition of a drone
- Local Law includes clear rules and regulations for the flying of drones for fun and recreation (Model Aircraft) in Hepburn Shire.
- Local Law includes clear rules and regulations for the flying of commercial drones (RPA) in Hepburn Shire.
- A permit is required for flying a commercial drone (RPA) in Hepburn Shire
- CASA regulations be adhered to for any drone flying in Hepburn Shire
The reason for my submission follows:
I alerted David George of Hepburn Shire on 12/1/19 of the following incident that occurred Christmas Day 2018 at Jubilee Lake.
On 25th December 2018 we gathered for Christmas Day lunch along with many other families.
I became aware of a noise in the distance and it came closer and more audible. I looked up and a drone was flying in the sky across the recreation field where children were playing and was moving towards us. It was noisily buzzing as it hovered almost above us and came to land at the feet of an adult male sitting with his friends next to our family gathering
I expressed my concern to the man operating the drone. He was unapologetic and dismissive.
There were lots of people in close proximity, children running and playing. The drone flew over them and landed among people
Fortunately, the drone was not flown again that day.
I did not believe it was lawful to fly a drone in such a public space such as Jubilee Lake where there are lots of people, children …and such a beautiful, quiet place where people come to enjoy peace and quiet, walk, play, enjoy….
Not only did it disturb the peace but I believe it was dangerous and could easily have caused serious injury.
I was very concerned to be informed by David George at Hepburn Council that there were no local laws in place to restrict drone flying.
I then contacted CASA and described the incident. I was told it was an “unsafe drone operation”. They also informed me that “Council can restrict drones” and that “Councils have the right to restrict drones in certain areas of their Shire” and that “CASA works with Councils” I communicated this to Council.
As a result of my communication I was told by David George that drone flying would be included in Draft Local Law. On reading the Draft Local Law 2 it was clear it did not address drone flying. I again contacted Council to ask why and was told in an email dated 11/11/19
“Your original concerns about drones were provided to Council as part of the initial consultation and there has been an inclusion under Clause 2.9 relating to the use of toy vehicles, including drones. Council may declare areas where drones are prohibited”.
Nowhere in Draft Local Law 2 under Clause 2.9 is drone included. I do not class a drone as a wheeled toy.
Therefore, my need to lodge this submission.
I have recently again been in contact with CASA as to the definition of a drone.
CASA informed me that:
“Drone’ is a colloquial term that CASA adopted for ease of understanding. As per CASA’s aviation laws, the technical terms and definitions that we use are below:
RPA means a remotely piloted aircraft, other than a balloon or a kite.
RPAS (short for remote pilot aircraft system) means a set of configurable elements consisting of a remotely piloted aircraft, its associated remote pilot station (or stations), the required command and control links and any other system elements as may be required at any point during the operation of the aircraft.
Model aircraft means an aircraft that is used for sport or recreation, and cannot carry a person.
An ‘RPA’ is the term used for a commercial drone and ‘model’ aircraft’ is used for a drone flown for fun or sport.” (CASA)
In light of the increasing popularity of recreational and commercial drone flying I ask my submission to Local Law be discussed and accepted by Council.