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A Guide to fly your drone in Northern Territory (Darwin & Alice Springs) 2020

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all known regulation around recreational drone use in Northern Territory (Darwin & Alice Springs, NT). Give a 👍 at the end of this post & feel free to share your experience or any updates you might have in the Australia Drone Discussion Group. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our knowledge & does not replace official sources & your research.


Northern Territory (NT) follows the common rules of the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). If you're looking for the unmanned aerial vehicle rules of Australia then click here.


As for a shortcut, no matter where in Northern Territory (NT), you should fly:

  • at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground.

  • away from private property, vehicles in movement, people or large crowds (including over beaches, stadiums or parks) & respect individuals' privacy.

  • at least 5.5 km away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft or helicopter take off & land) & give way to all other type of aircraft.

  • only during permitting weather & within your sight at all times.

  • away from areas where its use could interfere with police or first responders.

  • avoiding sensitive areas including government or military facilities.


🛫 To get to Darwin, there is a high chance you will have to catch a plane, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tiger and Jetstar are pretty sweet with drones but would recommend you carry your batteries in fire proof bags for more safety.


💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.

Using another airline? NEW! Airlines & Drones' Best Practices


This blog post will dig dive into Northern Territory's specific locations where you can fly a drone safely. We will also uncover some secret spots where to fly within the biggest cities of the state & explain all specific permissions needed when flying above Northern Territory's restricted areas.


But before anything, let's start with a little drone video to show how beautiful this place of the world is (time to get some popcorn mate! 🍿🎬)


So where can I fly my drone in Northern Territory (NT)?


A short answer will be anywhere away from airports and national parks (unless authorisation). But thankfully there is a bit more info than this, thanks the "Can I fly there" app made by CASA in cooperation with dronecomplier and kept up to date with punctual events so its probably good to keep this link handy with you.


✅ It is also available in the Google Play Store & Apple Store for mobile use (makes sense as we don't many of you flying with a desktop in their car trunk today 😜) Most main cities of Northern Territory (NT) are under strict regulations due to a heavy air traffic above or near them.


Drone Fly Map Darwin

Source: casa.dronecomplier.com

🚨 In Darwin, the airport is located only 6 kms from the city's CBD 😲 What a blast to get there (you can walk it from the Adelaide centre to the airport under 1h15 but what a nightmare for flying your drone there...


✅ Good stuff is that once you're out of the city (usually within 20 mins drive), you should be pretty sweet as long as you follow CASA rules.


NEW! Australia Travel Guide!


Drone Fly Map Alice Springs

Source: casa.dronecomplier

✅ In Alice Springs, the airport is located south of the city so it won't impact you directly unless you're located in Hugh or Amoonguna towns which you can't take off from. You can basically take off anywhere around the city as long as you're 30 m away from people, streets and buildings + 120 m maximum high and away from the nature reserves surrounding Alice Springs.


Drone Fly Map Uluru

Source: dronecomplier.com

✅ In Uluru, you will just have to worry about the small airport's runway (careful as it can get quite busy over weekends) & you should be fine.


🚨 Important note if you intend to fly above Uluru Rock as it belongs to cultural heritage and is part of a national park so you will need further permissions before taking off there.


💡 Check our Guide to fly a drone near Uluru.


Flying a drone in NT national parks & marine reserves


🚨 Flying your unmanned aerial vehicle in a national park or reserve of the Northern Territory is strictly forbidden without any authorisation, simple as this. The strict rule is in place to ensure an enjoyable experience for other visitors. After all, these are sanctuaries for animals & the idea is to leave them in peace in these preserved environments 👌


🚨 However, if you want to fly for a commercial purpose, you will need to apply for a permit.


The list includes the famous ones such as:

  • Barranyi National Park

  • Kakadu National Park

  • Litchfield National Park

  • Mary River

  • Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park

  • & many more.., find a complete list here (scroll down).


💡 Smart! Water glare is a killer when flying above NT coastal waters, make sure you have a lens filter before flying there.

NEW! Drone Reviews!


Drone & Privacy Laws in Northern Territory (NT)


CASA is pretty straightforward and transparent on this topic; they won't investigate any privacy concerns or claims as their job is restricted to aviation safety. The primary body in charge of privacy laws in NT is the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner which in turn advises you to first complain to the organisation or agency causing you issues with a 30 days delay before escalating to them - find out more.


Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Australia's awesome landscapes & create videos like this one:


🎬 INSPIRING! Follow our aerial videos around the world on Youtube!


🌍 Travelling overseas? Check out our Drone Rules World Map; country by country!

✅ Please leave a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in the Northern Territory! Have fun and safe flight! #northern #territory #northernterritory #regulation #law #laws #legislation


💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Australia Drone Discussion Group


Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone rules and regulations.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links meaning we will get a commission if you decide to purchase via them. This has no costs for you but helps Dronemade stay free for all. If you need to buy anything on Amazon or DJI stores, think of us.


Sources

CASA Website

Permits to use aircraft and drones in parks

Flying drones in parks


Other resources

Australia Drone Travel Guide

Indigenous Rangers are adopting drone technology to improve sacred sites' surveillance

The Ultimate Guide to Australia drone laws and rules

Northern Territory Drone Fly Map

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