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Drones on the Trail

Unmanned aircraft (UAVs/UAS/RPAS/drones)

All commercial use of unmanned aircraft including Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or drones over conservation lands and waters requires a concession from DOC. Recreational use requires either a concession or authorisation from DOC. You can check with the local DOC office to see which applies to you.  

The concession/authorisation process enables DOC to monitor and manage the effects of activities on public conservation lands and waters. For unmanned aircraft, some of the effects that are often raised as potential concerns are:

  • the disturbance they may cause to wildlife and other users of the land
  • the risk of fire caused by a potential crash
  • the effect on public safety, and 
  • the safety of operating in spaces occupied by other aircraft and helicopters.

It is important you follow the rules and guidelines set by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for operating aircraft safely – see the CAA website (external site) for more information.