Commercial RPA Operations
Commercial RPA operation is where use of the RPA is carried out for remuneration. RPA operation is considered Non-Commercial when it is used for recreation, particularly operations where remuneration is not directly derived. Some home and contents and policies extend to cover recreational use of RPA’s however various limitations apply ranging from size to operational environment. The One Underwriting RPA Insurance is only available at this stage to commercial RPA operators.
Recent Changes to Regulations affecting small RPA’s
From 29th September 2016, changes to CASA’s regulations around the use of small RPAs for commercial purposes have been introduced. The requirement to hold a Remote Operators Certificate (ReOC) has changed. New categories of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) have been identified and defined by maximum take-off weight. Standard operating conditions have been introduced and as such, some operations will be considered ‘excluded RPA operations’ which will not require a ReOC. Please utilise the following link to help identify whether an operation is excluded.
Operating a RPAS without coverage could result in serious liability implications under the Damage by Aircraft Act3 . It is important to understand these implications as well as the operational limitations imposed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
Cover RPA owners and operators should consider
There are a number of aspects that should be taken in to consideration, which is best done on a case by case basis, but owners and operators of commercial RPAS should consider protecting their assets and third party liability.
- overage for damage includes whilst in flight. The policy will also extend to cover road transit whilst in the insured care, custody or control for specified events.
- Third Party Liability (TPL) cover binds to each RPA individually. TPL will cover bodily injury or property damage as a result of an RPA accident.
Example of commercial RPA uses
There are a multitude of applications for commercial operations, spanning property, tourism, insurance, mining, engineering, marketing, entertainment and sports sectors. Potential RPA Uses:
- Oil/Gas/Electric – inspection, survey and mapping
- Real estate – aerial site survey, inspection, aerial photography
- Entertainment/Photography – aerial filming and photography
- Construction – aerial site surveys and inspections
- Maintenance – building inspection, damage assessment
- Engineering – surveying and measurement
- Media – electronic news gathering
- Weather and environmental data collection
Know before you fly:
Australia's safety laws for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), as defined in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations Part 101, vary whether you are flying commercially or recreationally/for fun. From 29 September 2016, if you are flying for money, or any form of economic gain, you need to have an RPA operator’s certificate (ReOC), or if you're flying an RPA weighing less than two kilograms, you are simply required to notify CASA. For more information on safety laws or resources and links to essential information, please visit the CASA website.