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FlyFreely Streamlines Drone Ops in Sydney with New CASA Automation

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has announced a significant expansion of its automated airspace authorisations trial.

Starting 16th November 2023, this trial will include new airspaces around Sydney Airport and Sydney Harbour (also known as R405), in addition to the existing areas of Adelaide, Canberra, and Perth airports - where FlyFreely will enable automatic airspace authorisation for their users!

What does this mean?

For operators that hold an active RPA Operators Certificate (ReOC) they can obtain instant authorisation (where permitted) within 3 nm of Sydney airport and inside the restricted area R405 which covers Sydney Harbour. This eliminates the need to submit an application to CASA for approval.

What do I need to do to obtain access?

  1. You must have an active ReOC (Don’t have a ReOC talk to the team about our ReOC pathways program)
  2. The Chief Remote Pilot of the ReOC needs to fill in this form
  3. FlyFreely will verify your details with CASA
  4. Once verified FlyFreely will enable the automated authorisation capability on your account
  5. Follow our instructions on knowledge base on how to obtain an authorisation on the FlyFreely platform
  6. Fly your planned operation!
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Do I need to be a FlyFreely customer to access this capability?

No. Anybody can request access to this capability. However, having a FlyFreely subscription will enable you to fulfil all your planning and record keeping obligations to CASA in one place. If you would like a FlyFreely account for your team CLICK HERE to speak to our team to get started.

Implications for Drone Pilots in Sydney

For drone pilots operating in and around Sydney Airport and Sydney Harbour, this change is monumental. It simplifies the process of securing airspace authorisation. Previously, gaining approval to operate drones in these areas was a time-consuming and potentially expensive process. Now, pilots can receive instantaneous approvals directly through the FlyFreely platform.

The Old Process vs. The New Automated System

Before this integration, obtaining approval to fly drones in restricted areas like Sydney Harbour or near major airports could take weeks and cost upwards of $800. The process involved manual applications and waiting periods, hindering the ability of drone operators to respond quickly to business opportunities. 

Benefits for FlyFreely Users

This new capability within FlyFreely greatly enhances operational efficiency for our clients. Drone pilots can now plan and execute missions in these high-traffic areas with much greater flexibility and responsiveness. The automated authorisations, based on historical flight data, ensure safety while allowing more business opportunities in new locations. It's a game-changer for commercial drone operators seeking to expand their operations in Sydney and other major Australian cities.



We at FlyFreely are committed to providing the best tools and resources for our drone operator community. We encourage all ReOC holders to take advantage of this new capability and explore the possibilities it opens up. For more information on this trial and how to make the most of it, send us a message to speak to one of our team!

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