Pauline Hanson broke several CASA drone regulations: Fines are coming!

You've got to know the rules before you fly

I’ve said it a few times, and I’ll keep saying it – if you’re going to fly a drone, you’ve got to know the rules first, and Pauline Hanson and her trusted advisor James Ashby clearly don’t know those rules – publishing a video last night that breaches several.

I watched the video this morning – and immediately saw one clear breach, then a quick check of the location on the new CASA “Can I fly There?” app showed another.

From watching the video, it’s clear Pauline is trying to have some fun – mentioning the controversial Pauline Hanson’s One Nation plane and how she doesn’t own it, going on to say she doesn’t own the drone either.  But, it doesn’t matter, she’s clearly in control of the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and thus, is likely to cop a fine from CASA for this flight.

Firstly, you just can’t fly in such a population dense area.  Secondly, you can’t fly within 30 meters of buildings and other people.  No matter how safe Pauline thinks she is flying, the people in the apartments nearby could cop an drone in the head if it went off course.

So there’s at least $900 in fines there.

Secondly, and much worse.  The flight takes place within restricted airspace.

A quick check of the CASA Can I fly There app, knowing where that apartment building is, the flight takes place within the 100% restricted zone.  Frustratingly, walk a block further from the airport and you’re good to go.

With such a high profile video, CASA will have to come down hard here – the public need to be educated on the rules of drone flight – and this one – sorry to say Pauline – is a clear breach, several times over.

EFTM contacted the Civil Aviation Safety Authority about the flight and a spokesperson tells us: “We’ve contacted her office to arrange a conversation with senator Hanson next week.  We want more details of where the flight was conducted, how it was done and her understanding of the regulations and her responsibilities.

After that we will decide what action to take – counselling or investigation for a potential breach of the regulations”

I spoke with 2GB’s Ben Fordham about this today, and Pauline responded:

Pauline’s defence is that “It was not anywhere near a public place”, “It was not within 30 meters of people”, “There was no danger to anyone” and “it was not near the airport”.

When asked about the regulations and being close to buildings Pauline told Ben Fordham “Look, it doesn’t say within 30 meters of a building, that’s my reading of it and what I have been informed about”.

Sorry Pauline:  “You must not fly closer than 30 metres to vehicles, boats, buildings or people.” Read the rules for yourself here.

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Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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