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An update to flying drones near military controlled aerodromes and BVLOS operations

Published by Josh Spires on 19 April, 2023

An update to flying drones near military controlled aerodromes and BVLOS operations

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in partnership with the Department of Defence have simplified the process for ReOC holders to fly in the no-fly zones of military controlled aerodromes. CASA is also making it easier for pilots to conduct BVLOS operations.

This update first made public in a recent post from CASA.

Operations near military-controlled aerodromes (CASA EX23/23)

From April 30, 2023, ReOC holders who intend on flying below 400ft (120m) above ground level (AGL) in a no-fly zone of a military controlled aerodrome do not need to apply to CASA, but are required to:

  • add a copy of Instrument 23/23 to their operator’s manual (updated manuals do not need to be sent to CASA)
  • get approval from the military control tower prior to the operation by contacting the tower or military unit where you intend to fly.

Flying 400ft and above must still submit an application to CASA, who then notify the Department of Defence of the approval.

When flying in a no-fly zone of a military controlled aerodrome, you must issue a NOTAM regardless of the altitude, the NOTAM may be issued by the military control tower. This is a condition of:

  • CASR 101.030
  • Instrument 23/23.

BVLOS operations (CASA EX27/23)

CASA has changed the minimum requirements for remote pilots to conduct BVLOS operations. Under the changes, EVLOS Class 2 remote pilots are no longer required to pass the instrument rating exam (IREX) in specific situations. The following is still required:

  • operate under a ReOC
  • get an EVLOS approval
  • have your procedures approved by CASA

Companies operating under a ReOC and have a current EVLOS Class 2 approval can take advantage of the changes right now and CASA does not need updated practices and procedures.

This makes the need to hold an IREX for EVLOS Class 2 operations optional. CASA EX27/23 replaces CASA EX46/21.


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