Aerial Uptake Film 2021

Whilst the craziness of May 2021 continued and I was asking you to vote for me in the Airwards (didn’t win but thank you so much for voting for me I really appreciated it)

I was working on a documentary for UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire ) about drones. I feel very lucky to work on what feels like a dream project. I often create corporate videos and TV documentaries this sits between the two in its editorial tone and content.

Main audience is the drone community and industry those as this is for a project called Aerial Uptake which several European cities are taking part in. This project looks at the barriers to embracing technology. Read more about the project – Aerial Uptake

Let me know your thoughts in the comments –

Click on this link to view the full film Aerial Uptake 2021 – (youtube link). Commissioned by Media Innovation Studio, UCLAN, Preston City Council and Aerial Update

Here are my thoughts of changes and ideas for things I would add / change – in note form

Resource changes
More time – more time to plan the structure and include missing voices
More drone footage of Lancashire – blessed with a lot of footage from contacts in the industry and from the contributors but more of Lancashire would have been really helpful. It rained and was windy in the week that filming was taking place. 
Directing the voice over – lack of time meant I wasn’t able to direct the voice over but then we got a professional who was brilliant but I would have changed a bit.  
General footage – some editorially I feel don’t fit with the story but we had limited time to shoot B roll footage.  We sort of made it work
Missing voices Council don’t allow drones to fly from council land even for commercial flights- why ? Do they realise that the ecconomic imput could be amazing for their county/ city. It would be good to find out why the blanket policy of no drone flights exist and see what would change that position. 
Public perception voices – who don’t like drones are worried about the privicy and safety aspect
Industry regulator CAA – time constraints and pandemic meant I didn’t get to visit and interview and then I dropped that part of the narrative
Subjects to explore further would be the actual uses – showing viewers – how they are being used in fire/ Search and Rescue  etc  – A deeper dive into these areas. Example sending drones to do inspections saves time and money and also stops a person working at height until they have to. Which actually means drones offer humans a safer working environment. 

Basic factsWhat is the drone technology and how it works ?  I felt perhaps I didn’t explain some of the more basic facts and that was something that needed to be explored from a viewers perspective, I made assumptions that people knew what what Beyond visual line of sight is .  Explination of terms.  Which would widen the audience reach to general public. Although this was made for an audience that has an understanding about drones. 
Overall though I am really pleased with the way the film turned out

Airwards – Nomination

I am not one to ask for testimonials from companies or people I have trained, I live by a quote that says

‘What people think about you is none of your business’.

I think it is a good measure when I get rebooked and also when a client gives feedback I respond. It’s good to know when you are not delivering expectations and how can you improve. However if you are on social media, write a blog and put your head above the parapet its probably more freeing to think of the quote. It is freeing as you are not thinking what people are thinking of you.

To my surprise I was contacted by the organisers of this the Air Awards as I had been nominated by a number of people. I debated if I were to share these and I decided as I often focus on the negatives I would actually post. The category I have been nominated in is people’s choice so I need to request votes. Because also imagine to my surprise I actually I would like to win this thing! You have till end of 20th of May to vote.

So if I have helped you, entertained you, you have read this blog I would love for you to vote for me.

Vote here Carys Kaiser Person – Industry impactor

Thank you for your support

Fly safe



The nominations sent in are below.

Name of nominee:  Carys Kaiser 

Category you’ve been nominated for:  Person – Industry Impactor 
Supporting statement we’ve been provided with:  Carys is an inspiration to all who want to understand more about drones, especially women. She promotes safe practice, uses her spare time to inform, educate and encourage those within the drone world. She set up a UK facebook group especially for women, to provide a safe and welcoming space to share knowledge and learn from peers. She has also appeared on national TV as a spokesperson for drones and uses any media, blog or spokesperson opportunity to highlight the incredible work that drones are doing. She is one of a very small number of female drone flight instructors in the UK, and uses both this, and her blog, to educate and inform. I know she is responsible for many more female pilots joining the UK ranks! On a personal level though, she has inspired me to qualify as a pilot, trained me, encouraged me and has even linked me in to job opportunities in the drone world. Instead of keeping opportunities to herself she has been so excited to share these opportunities with me. She has been an ally and a friend, and she really deserves recognition for the work she does.

MOD trainer, World of Drones Congress speaker, BBC Breakfast drone pilot… On top of her 15 years as a camera operator, Carys has 6 years experience working in the drone industry, and as one of the few female drone pilots in the world. Yet she deserves credit not just for her gender but for her continued support in challenging and developing the possibilities the drone industry can offer. Carys has such a variety of experience with drones, she is my go-to person whenever my production company requires aerial shots. I know she is reputable, she is regularly working for BBC for broadcasting purposes, independent companies for commercial filming and also training or advising major organisations such as the Ministry of Defence. Featured in the World of Drones Congress as a speaker in recent years, a panellist on BBC DigiCities events and a regular contributor to online blogs, articles and social media campaigns… In person Carys is a quiet introverted kind spirit, but her knowledge and expertise deserves to be shone in the stage lights as one to watch, and one to award as a great role model both for the industry, for female tech experts and for just awesome humanity!

Carys is absolutely outstanding in her field. A hugely experienced pilot and one of the very few female flight instructors in the UK, she regularly represents the drone industry on TV and radio and has appeared on BBC News, ITV News and Good Morning Britain. She is an immense inspiration to aspiring and existing female drone pilots, and champions the industry to women and girls. She speaks internationally at a wide variety of leading industry conferences, has set up a highly popular Facebook group for women and is a Women Who Drone ambassador. Her A Girl From Above project is unique and remarkable in its beauty. Carys has been a drone pilot since the early days of licensed drone operation in the TV industry, and when I met her she was the only licensed drone pilot at BBC North – not the only female pilot but the only pilot full stop. The footage she shot and edited for BBC BodyPositive reached millions of girls and young women and won awards. Carys is remarkable, and deserves recognition for her incredible work educating and inspiring so many women to take up drone photography and filmmaking. Carys is a catalyst who supports women to access drone flying and is someone who totally leads by example and has so much impact in the work that she does. She has supported me immensely in ‘getting into’ using drones over the last few years and has built a community to support women with an interest in drone flying. She is always looking at ways to share her knowledge in meaningful ways to have impact for people in the community and she is a total trailblazer in the work that she does. I don’t know any one who is more deserving of this award, for the impact she has on and for this industry is simply outstanding. 

Also the company I work for Global Drone Training have also been nominated in the Company industry impactor

Drone Law Change UK part 1

Drone being flown pre Covid days with a spotter

The law surrounding drones has now changed, six months later than planned due to the ongoing challenges of 2020.

Over the next few days, I will be explaining what that means to you if you are a current PFCO holder, or if you have just bought yourself a sub 250g drone as a film maker / photographer hoping to cash in. Also aiming to help if you let your PFCO lapse or if you wanted to wait and what you needed to do once the new laws came in.

So what is the change in the law? As of today 31st December 2020 – the CAA is implementing the EU UAS regulation package. For many years now the CAA have been moving towards this standard approach to drones and the laws governing them. The irony with Brexit process completing at midnight tonight means some things have not been ironed out as of yet but on the whole they have been.

Drone operations are now spilt into three categories

Open – which is low risk small drones , where the operator registers, the CAA are not involved in granting permission.

Specific which will cover part of the operations that currently PFCO holders hold – this will be explained in further detail , this will include some drone deliveries

And Certified which many reading this blog will not be involved in they are things such as drone taxi’s and bigger drones

With this tiered category there are process and courses built into the new regulations.

First of all don’t panic if you hold a PFCO, you should carry on and operate in the normal way. When you renew you will be issued with an Operational Authorisation and just as for the PFCO before it is done on a yearly basis.

The question I am being asked a lot: Should I ditch my PFCO for the General Visual Line of Sight Certificate  GVC? – The answer is the GVC is the competence part that proves your ability to understand the law and fly a drone competently. So it is a misconception that the PFCO is being replaced by the GVC. Previously airline pilots, light aircraft pilots and helicopter pilots didn’t need to attend ground school they were exempt. Everyone else attended a ground school, then took exams and a practical flight test. Each training company called this section something different for example mine was issued as RPQ-s. Each training company had their own had their own acronym for proof of competence. This is part of the standardisation in the UK. Once the GVC has been completed it is submitted to the CAA along with their operations manual. Then the Operational Authorisation will be issued.

GVC is a two day course online or in person with a practical flight assessment and this demonstrates you have the knowledge and skills to fly in the specific category. I believe moving forward pilots will not be exempt as before and will also need to demonstrate drone competence .

The other qualification is A2 Certificate of Competence A2 C of C and I see on many forums that everyone is saying they will ditch the Operational Authorisation and GVC approach for A2 C of C. This might be a bit of a flawed notion if you plan to fly anywhere near built up areas as you need a cylinder around the drone as you fly of 50 meters flying around uninvolved people etc – 50 Meters is the size approximately of a football pitch. So it may not fit with your commercial needs. However if you are flying on open land and the people you are flying near are involved as part of the operations then this may suit you.

Image used with kind permission of the CAA – copyright belongs to CAA

This cylinder changes the higher the drone goes as the image below so that minimum distance of 50m is height the drone is flying at. Example 120 meters height would be 120 meters from uninvolved people.

Image used with kind permission of the CAA – copyright belongs to CAA

The A2 C of C is a self declared competence once initial training of 1 day has been completed. More detail in coming blog posts.

If you have a current PFCO, the process will be as follows: The PFCO will convert to the Operational Authorisation (AO) on your renewal as you submit your ops manual. You need to complete a GVC Conversion course by 1st January 2024. So no need to rush to do this, however being aware and being trained early on will help you and if you have been flying drones for a while will serve as a refresher. This will also ensure if you are flying for clients that you are fully up-to date. My TV clients will probably want to see my competency confirmed earlier rather than later.

If you have just got a drone – please visit – even if it is under 250g – you don’t need to register, but the training resources are great and give a beginner free training and help in understanding the law. Anyone with a drone over 250g needs to obtain an operator id and that must be on the drone when you fly it that is a legal obligation.

Next blog post will be going into more detail. As always if you have any burning questions please add to comments and I will respond after I have shared all the blog posts – more detail on A2 C of C, CE marked drones and the transition period.

Until then Happy New Year

The Drone Lass



Part of Freelance Friday’s theme is TV freelancing, ok I am not working in TV at the moment and it’s not Friday but I thought what the heck!  A few ideas for you as a number of my freelance friends are frustrated at the lack of work and lack of purpose.   Why are you managing to stay positive? They ask and actually I am not positive all the time, this lockdown is hard.

Today I woke up and thought that I don’t have any paid work yet but I do have projects I am working on but they may or may not bring cash to pay the mortgage. I am sick of chasing a well known broadcaster for expenses and if I knew where to escalate this to I would.  I have a feeling eventually I will get the money, but for now I just have to leave it to people who have a regular salary and don’t understand the pressure the rest of us are under. Clients are not paying invoices I think using this as an opportunity not to pay.

If this time in the world right now is ours, then we need to be of use.  So I am helping organise a charity film and I have been helping my vulnerable neighbours do their shopping they are in the over 70s category and currently I am following UK government guidelines and checking in to check they are ok.  I knock on the door then stand well back in the street.  Any shopping I have brought to them I have insisted that they wipe down and then wash hands and to be precise about doing this.  We  have a chat and that has been great for me as much as for them.

With the NHS film I finally feel of use , I am just gathering shots and putting the right people in contact, but it feels good to be of use.

So the question is what is your skill set ? If you are not well then no you can’t go out and can’t help people but if you are in what can you do from home?  There is absolutely no pressure to do anything but keep your home life together but what else could you do to give structure to your day?

What is remarkable is what is happening locally to you.

We have a group of local crafters in the next town who are raising money for scrubs as PPE and clothing is in short supply as a lot is made in china and now there is also a global demand.  The group is on Facebook perhaps if you have as sewing machine and you are handy like that they you could search  For the Love of Scrubs and find a group near you. I donated money and some fabric yesterday, my craft skills are not up to scratch.

If you have a 3D printer there are groups and open source instructions and there’s a group in Wales where 4000 people are creating 20 each that is 8000 visors by the end of this week!

Have you thought about volunteering at your local foodbank?

Also other worldwide facebook groups are your local Covid-19 Mutual Aid group. For example search Manchester Covid-19 Mutual Aid and you will see a massive community of people.   There has never been a stronger sense of community and kindness, so if you fall ill you can all on this group or offer your help to others.

If like me you can only support one or two people extra  and be on an Facebook group to helit will mean we will get through this time.

To give yourself sense of purpose is the most important thing, if you are working from home and haven’t yet got into a routine and are finding it difficult the next blog post will help you. I have worked from home for over 10 years on and off and may have to adapt to working full-time in an office again.

Top tips – these were shared with me by a counsellor friend. 

  • Don’t listen to the radio repeating the news
  • Only listen to the News once a day, this will keep you informed.  I have chosen a mid afternoon
  • Get outside even if it is just for 10 minutes
  • Don’t sit on social media reading all the news articles
  • Create some kind of routine for yourself and agree with others what that will look like.
  • Tidy your space, create some order
  • Take time out from one another – be that in another room if you have one, if not both listen to music with headphones on low and sit separately.
  • Plan meals and TV watching
  • Read books
  • Look for a cheap hobby anything from painting to origami, knitting and crochet
  • There is no pressure to achieve anything just staying upright is enough for now and you will feel motivated soon.
  • Talk to friends and family and keep talking.
  • If you are working it is ok to acknowledge that you might not actually be able to focus on many tasks.

Stay safe and well






Freelance Friday’s


For a while I had been thinking of writing every Friday about Freelance tips, then in January I got ill with a coughing virus – no idea if this was The virus or just a virus? Then I had surgery minor but it knocked me off my feet for most of February. I was also lacking in motivation I think I needed my brain to heal as well. Bless the NHS, I felt so grateful then and much more now.  I am just getting my motivation back and the whole world stops.  So this explains my absence for the last 3 months.

This blog post will have some links to help UK Freelancers and UK Freelance TV Pros, then I will be doing general posts in future for freelancing in general.


I know many freelancers the main priority is support financially and if you are in Film and TV,  I am going to list some useful places as I am not an expert.

Best source I have found is Martin Lewis – Money Saving expert has a show on ITV on a Thursday.  He is great even if you are not from the TV industry but he does seem to have some of the answers

BECTU are doing an excellent job talking to the treasury and I urge you to join if you can. I have been a member for so many years they are a great resource.

ScreenSkills as well are lobbying aswell but main thing they are doing is supporting mental health, they are also running training sessions which will be going online at somepoint.

Facebook group –People who are available for work in TV – name of group aside this has some very good champions of the cause, and lots of advice.

Then also Film and TV Charity– are assisting with hardship payments don’t know much more but also they are supporting mental health. Please go and look at those pages and text a friend if you are suffering. At this time more than ever we need to keep reaching out.

If you are a freelancer or small business in the UK then these handy flowcharts produced by Helen Fleet of  AJ Fleet and Co

For self employed :-

Screenshot 2020-04-03 at 14.56.13

For the small business owner

Screenshot 2020-04-03 at 14.55.43

What ever you do, don’t panic speak to your accountant.  Check all business outgoings and also all personal outgoings and what can you cancel. I have cancelled all those things I can and that have no benefit to me currently.

If you run a UK drone company PFCO renewals are being extended by 3 months.  Read the handy blog guide from Elliot from Global Drone Training

Stay safe and well

The Drone Lass





Happy New Year! Farewell 2019.


There is a lot of summing up going on, blogs and news outlets and social media posts which is good but as someone who doesn’t plan too much and doesn’t do resolutions and with a tendency for a very positive outlook, I can tend to be tinged with sadness. I don’t want to look back at the last year and last decade too much.

Professionally I should plan and react more.  Hell I haven’t even wrote up about my Australian trip to World of Drones congress. I can only cite lack of time or because I now take timeout to rest, but next year less social media for me – I will still post but limit the mindless scrolling, maybe that will free up some time?   A difficult one as most of my work and network comes from social media.  No more TV box sets I might have only just joined a streaming service but this holiday I have done a lot of binge watching and it’s not good for me. I am happy to be out of the cultural TV loop!  I know TV people who don’t own a TV, I won’t go that far!

At the start of the decade Drones were in their infancy but technology was being developed and has exploded so much that you can get a drone from a high street store in most parts of the world. It is mind blowing that we are now going into the year that sci-fi chose as iconic date.  It looks like we have driverless cars on their way, and we have drone taxi’s and they will become more common.

Where we are at now is that we have pressing issues in the environment, plastic pollution, animals and insects going extinct at an alarming rate, global warming is happening. The world on fire from the Arctic to Australia.

2018 was devastating on my own door steps the moors burnt for weeks. I truly believe that drones will help will be developed to counteract some of the issues we are facing.  The Plastic tide is one such application where drones are assisting and there are a lot more and I plan to cover some of those in blog posts in the New Year. (yeah, I am not setting any goals)   I have seen the future of all the possibilities by some of the industry leaders speaking at the drone events I have been at this year.

What do you think we will see in drone tech in the next decade? What developments? I think automation will become more common place and perhaps drone pilots will not exist at all.  Who knows but I look forward to it unfolding.  Next year we have here in the UK the EASA regulations being adopted it is not going to be the simple process but I am happy to be guided by the CAA and Eliot and Jonathan from Drone training.

In 2019 – I never expected it to unfold as it it did, I have had many opportunities that I feel so lucky to have had. To become a drone training instructor has been just amazing. Thank you to the whole team at Drone Training, especially Eliot and Jonathan for having faith in me. It’s been an amazing learning opportunity joining the team.   Got to fly for some amazing TV productions and companies.  Thank you to Eastwood Media for the opportunity to pilot and camera operate for you.  Thank you to all at World of Drones Congress, especially Dr Catherine Ball.

Thank you to every single reader of this blog, social media interaction, likes of images.  Thank you to all the clients that have booked me for TV camera jobs – working for BBC Breakfast has been a goal achieved and has given me confidence in my ability and will drive to be better.  Film making  and directing work thank you clients excluding social cuts I have made 73 short form films and edited most of them.  All those who attended my creative drone workshops massive thank you.  Thank you. Thank you for the opportunities to appear on panels discussing drones, tech and gender diversity in the industry.  Thank you The Photography Show– glad to be coming back in 2020 . Thank you to the Universities that booked me to do guest lectures and demos.  Thank you to Women Who Dronewho gave me the opportunity to cover at The Commercial UAV show.

To The Female UK Drone collective – we will sort out some meet ups in 2020 I promise.

Make your resolutions and your goals if that is your thing, raise a glass if that is your thing. Drink tea in your PJs or party like a wild thing.  If you feel a bit melancholy don’t, either meet up with some friends or just go to bed and get up tomorrow is just another day with a new numerical value. Then fly a drone with a clear head, walk, run or cycle. Don’t compare yourself to others online it always looks like everyone is having an amazing time.  Some of it looks easy and gifted when actually there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes lots and lots of hours, along with the manatory, blood sweat and tears!

Here is to more tech developments in the next decade, here is to drones saving more lives and helping us with the environmental challenges we face.   Here is to more kindness in the world, and less nastiness on the internet! Here is to working with others that enhance your life and become life long friends you know who you are 😉

Happy New Year

From me

The Drone Lass




Instagram @the_drone_lass and on twitter 

I am on FB too !

UK Drone Registration – 30th November Deadline.


Reminder : – You have until midnight tomorrow 30th November to register and there are various scenarios covered by this useful blog post from Elliot Corke from Drone Training

In brief, register as an operator and pay £9 and then do the online test.

If you are already pro with a PFCO you don’t have to do the test but are required to have an exemption certificate from the CAA – which you email them for.

I just did the test and have printed out the certificate and will have a copy of my insurance, a copy of my PFCO and have marked my drones.

Questions I keep being asked one regularly is I have my drone but don’t intend to fly it now till after Christmas – what do I do?  Well you can register and do the test before you fly if you don’t have time now.  If however you do fly and you are not registered then you are breaking the law and can be fined unto £1000. My recommendation is to do it ASAP, that way you won’t forget.

I have a drone and I only use it abroad / Europe do I need to register? I would check with the country you are planning on flying in, for the laws of where you are allowed to fly as a recreational drone pilot.  Then also what are they are wanting with regards to drone registration. This registration scheme is to align with EASA – European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the rules governing Europe, you should register in your home country but till we are all fully aligned you might need to register in that country as well. Further research is required.  In the future I believe you won’t need to register in each country you fly in. All European countries are to be aligned by July 2020.

You may be traveling to a country where their drone registration has not opened yet.  In which case just follow those drone laws.

How hard is the test? The test although not easy it is set to teach you about the law we currently have for recreational drone flying and also thinking about safety, weather conditions and your drone.

How long does the test take?  
Approx 20 minutes – however I took mine at speed whilst being filmed by ITV News which was a bit stressful, and can report I passed full marks.

What happens if I fail the test?  You can take it as many times as you like and just go back and read the course materials.

What happens next? You get an email to confirm both your operator number/ registration  (£9)  and your pilot registration via the test process (free), put the number on your drone and carry your pilot registration with you – you can show the electronic version to police if you are asked.

Click on this link to go to the CAA website

Please note just because you have registered your drone done the test you are not able to operate commercially, that is for any money. If you are employing a drone pilot you need to check that they have a PFCO and insurance and that is the way you will know you are employing a professional. 

Have a wonderful weekend.  On to December now and the slow down for the end of the year

The Drone Lass







Australian Drone Laws

Oh my we have landed in Australia! I am sat here drinking berocca (other vitamin drinks are available) as it was in the wonderful welcome pack given to us on landing here for World of Drones Congress.   Something that has been on the horizon for about ten months.  Can’t believe we have finally landed, I am here with Gemma Alcock from Skybound rescuer and we couldn’t be more excited. Both of us are speaking, meeting with people and I am running a creative drone masterclass on Wednesday!

Brisbane - Eagle St Pier & Citycat

 I thought I best find out a bit about Australian drone laws, because of course I have brought a drone with me and as I am here a while I will be flying. Also many of you have asked me about laws in other countries and yet I am not here to fly commercially I will want to fly. 

 I have connected with Tom Pils – AKA The Drone Lawyer here is a bit about him.

Tom Pils- The Drone Lawyer

Tom has been building a practice exclusively in the area of drone law for the past 3 years. He has represented commercial drone operators in Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) investigations, advised on Applications for CASA Flight Authorisations (outside regulation approvals), and worked with insurance brokers on drone specific policies. Tom has a strong interest in drone regulation education. He regularly writes articles on legal aspects concerning drones which he publishes on his website Before focusing on drone law, Tom practised mainly in dispute resolution and litigation, as well as having extensive contract drafting & review experience. Tom’s broad range of experience serves his mission to empower drone operators through education, and to be the trusted advisor in their corner of the sky.

The Drone Lass & The Drone Lawyer: Q&A

Q. I am coming to Australia and want to bring my drone. Can I do this and what do I need to think about?

In general, drones can be brought into and flown in Australia. However, drones are quite heavily regulated and subject to a number of rules which vary depending on whether you intend to fly recreationally or commercially.

You must not operate your drone on a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, another person, or property.

The majority of drones flown in Australia that weigh over 250 grams are subject to standard operating conditions, including:

= not to be flown within 3 nautical miles (approximately 5 kilometres) from a controlled aerodrome (generally defined as where there is an active air control tower). The rules aren’t as strict for uncontrolled aerodromes and generally speaking you can fly within 3 nautical miles of an uncontrolled aerodrome but must avoid approach and departure paths and land immediately if you see a manned aircraft.

= You’re not allowed to fly higher than 400 feet Above Ground Level.

= You need to be able to see your drone at all times when flying. That unfortunately also means you’re generally not allowed to use those awesome First Person View (FPV) immersive goggles.

= You aren’t allowed to fly at night.

= You are not allowed to fly in a ‘populous’ area. If you haven’t come across the word ‘populous’ before, join the club. Populous is of Latin origin meaning ‘people’. So…don’t fly over the people? Well, pretty much. In short, a populous area is an area where there are enough people around where if your drone malfunctions it would pose an unreasonable risk to life, safety or property of someone in the area not connected to your flying. CASA gives some examples of populous areas such as as festivals, sporting ovals, busy beaches, busy roads and footpaths.

= Stay on the lookout for others because you are not to fly within 30 metres of a person not directly associate with your flight.

= If the police or fire brigade are there, you probably shouldn’t be flying over it. This also goes for situations where any “other public safety or emergency operation is being conducted”. One risk is that there may be police or fire fighting helicopters and if you’re getting some sweet shots of the action with your drone, you may be preventing them from resolving the incident. Don’t go from checking the incident to being the incident.

Q. Where can I fly my drone in Australia and how to do work out where I can fly legally?

Ideally, you should check a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which are notifications that alert pilots to any potential safety hazards along a flight route or in a specified location. They can also advise of changes to aeronautical facilities, services or procedures.

However, a less complicated (but also less formal) option is the ‘OpenSky’ app, which is endorsed by CASA. This shows a map of the area in which you want to fly and shows zones where drones cannot fly, can fly under conditions, or whether there are other obstacles.

It’s important to note that even where the app may seem to permit flights, you need to also consider all of the regulations as mentioned above. So, while helpful, the app is not the be all and end all. Also, the app’s terms of use state that you must continue to check official sources for information regarding whether and where you may fly your drone. Even if the app indicates that an area appears available for drone flight or free of restrictions, it does not guarantee, recommend, or endorse the safety or legality of your use of drones in that area. Also, the app states that it is advisory only, and is not to be used for the purpose of air navigation.

Finally, if you want to fly in a National Park, you should first check with the local authorities because sadly, some National Parks have restrictions on drones while others don’t allow drones to be flown at all.

Q. I have drone accreditation from another country. Will this be recognised in Australia?

While you could apply to CASA to have a foreign endorsement or licence recognised, CASA is unlikely to recognise this and to give you the equivalent certification in Australia. This is because the Australian Remote Pilot’s Licence is unique to Australia, its airspace and regulations.

red air
DJI Mavic Air

Q. Are there any differences depending on whether I want to fly for fun or commercially?

For commercial use, at present in Australia, if your drone has a gross weight less than 2 kg, then you can conduct commercial operations without a licence, however you need to notify CASA before you fly and must also operate within the standard operating conditions mentioned above. If your drone’s gross weight is over 2kg, then you also need to obtain a Remote Pilot Licence and operate under a Remote Pilot Operator’s Certificate.

For recreational use, you are generally allowed to fly a drone up to 25kg without a licence but must still follow the abovementioned conditions.

Q. Is there anything else I need to consider before flying my drone in Australia?

Australia is in the process of introducing mandatory drone registration and pilot accreditation.

All drones operated commercially will need to be registered. This is anticipated to be introduced in Australia before the end of 2019.

Most drones operated recreationally that weigh more than 250 grams will need to be registered. Drones flown recreationally indoors or flown exclusively flown at a CASA-verified model airfields will not need to be registered.

Accreditation will be mandatory which will involve watching an education video and passing an online quiz.

The Drone Lawyer can be contacted via website  and on Twitter @ausdronelawyer

Tom, Thank you so much this is really really helpful and once I am off on my travels around the rest of Australia I can’t wait to fly safely and responsibly and feel this gives me confidence in where I can fly whilst I am here.  

Happy Flying everyone 

The Drone Lass









Brisbane, World of Drones – Creative Workshop

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I am pleased to announce that I am running my  creative workshop at the World of Drones Congress in Brisbane on the Wednesday 25th of September to book and learn more please visit the The World of Drones congress website


Location Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Exhibition Hall 1, Hospitality Suite

Date Wednesday 25 September 2019

Time 9:30am – 4:30pm

Cost $225

Feedback from drone ops I have trained in the UK:-

‘Firstly thank you very much for all your help.  I thoroughly enjoyed the way you delivered the training. I also appreciate your patience and help! ” – Mark Pollard 

“I am raring to get going now, I have a greater understanding of what drone settings are best for video.” Joolze Dymond , Professional sports Photographer.

“Thank you, I enjoyed the workshop very much and now I feel equipped to improve my showreel and video work all-round” Roy Morris, Aerial Aspect

“The Drone Training with Carys was invaluable, I enjoyed it that much that I went on to book a 121 session of training with her as well.  I definitely left the training a lot more confidence”. Vicky Louise. 

I am looking forward to meeting you all, I do hope you can attend

The Drone Lass – AKA Carys





The World of Drones Congress

WoDC Bris, Qld, Aust

In just over a month before I head out to the The World of Drones Congress. (WoDC) in Brisbane. I was invited back in December 2018 and got official request to attend in February. It felt like a life time ago but as with all things,  it is now fast coming up on the horizon. I feel very honoured to be invited.

Since  I have known about the WoDC, I have wanted to attend but to be invited as a speaker is really beyond what I could have thought could happen.  For me it looks like the one event that is more about the business opportunities and the sharing of knowledge to springboard your business.   Rather than just about the new tech and not just about networking but also about the real global business opportunities.

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What is The World of Drones Congress and why you should attend?

The World of Drones is a global congress with workshops, presentations and meetings and if you are serious about building business on the global stage then this for you and your business.

There are genuine opportunities to build business in Queensland Australia back in December 2018, I was invited to the  High Commission of Australia in London and listened to all of the trade opportunities that exist in Australia. I think from the UK we may not think about the Australian opportunities open to us and now it is time to think more about a global stage. ( I am not mentioning the B word here on purpose)

Australia has had drone laws for 17 years and has a lot of innovation and investment which was revealed at this presentation in London.  Queensland in particular appears to be like the silicon valley of Australia for drone tech.  Opportunities for entrepreneur visas are available in Australia.  If you have that entrepreneur spirt and that is connected to drones then what are you waiting for? Book a ticket and come and network and see what Queensland and Australia has on offer.

There are people from all over the world attending, Japan, America, China, New Zealand  Europe as well as people from the Australian states and beyond.

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You could also spend some time doing some exploring and tourist activities 


What else is on at The World of Drone Congress?

Apart from all the speakers who are experts in scientific research, humanitarian, SAR (Search and rescue), and creative industries.  There are workshops, exhibitors who are exhibiting their tech innovations, an educational workshop for school students and also a health and safety workshop.

I am really looking forward to hearing for experts from around the world on the latest technology the policies, research and applications of drones.  Meeting people from all over the world that are as passionate about drones as myself.

My session is Session 3.2: Business, Movies & Media on Thursday 26 SEP 19 from 1330 to 1500.  I will be talking about the use of drones in visual story telling the UK and techniques all drone ops can use to improve their visual story telling all the lessons I have learnt so far as TV camera operator and TV director,  condensed into this presentation.

Please come and say hello at the end of the session if you are attending.

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The Drone Lass


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