Drones and aircraft

Drones and aircraft

Drones (remote­ly pilot­ed aircraft)

It is an offence to fly drones (remote­ly pilot­ed air­craft) South Australia’s nation­al parks, con­ser­va­tion parks, game reserves, recre­ation parks or region­al reserves and marine park restrict­ed access zones with­out a per­mit. Per­mits are con­sid­ered for sci­en­tif­ic research and com­mer­cial film­ing only.

Sci­en­tif­ic research

To use a drone for sci­en­tif­ic research, you will need to apply as part of your sci­en­tif­ic research appli­ca­tion.

Com­mer­cial film­ing or photography

To use a drone for com­mer­cial film­ing or pho­tog­ra­phy, you will need to apply as part of your com­mer­cial film­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy per­mit appli­ca­tion.

Oth­er impor­tant information

There are also restric­tions for using drones near whales and oth­er marine mam­mals.

Pilot­ed aircraft

Air­craft are not per­mit­ted to land or take off with­in a nation­al park or reserve.

If you are plan­ning on fly­ing a plane over the state’s nation­al parks it is impor­tant to note that there are min­i­mum height restric­tions in place for some of these parks.

Low fly­ing air­craft can severe­ly dis­rupt rest­ing and breed­ing ani­mals. They also take away from the remote wilder­ness expe­ri­ence that many of our parks offer. To pro­tect these areas while main­tain­ing pub­lic safe­ty, Fly Neigh­bourly Advice (FNA) para­me­ters have been devel­oped detail­ing the min­i­mum flight heights and off­set dis­tances around iden­ti­fied sen­si­tive areas.

All air­craft and drone pilots

All pilots are expect­ed to fly in accor­dance with the FNAs, which have been approved by the Civ­il Avi­a­tion Safe­ty Author­i­ty (emer­gency ser­vices may be exempt).

In South Aus­tralia, the fol­low­ing areas are affect­ed by an FNA:

Full details of FNAs are avail­able from the Civ­il Avi­a­tion Safe­ty Author­i­ty.

Report unsafe drone operations 

CASA offers an online form, allow­ing you to report unsafe drone use that may vio­late safe­ty regulations. 

Learn more

CASA-ver­i­fied drone safe­ty apps offer insights on drone-friend­ly zones and no-fly areas.

CASA also pro­vide a range of use­ful fact­sheets about fly­ing drones safely. 

For insights on how drones impact wildlife and pets, the RSP­CA has use­ful infor­ma­tion available.