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A Guide to South Australia (Adelaide, SA) Drone Laws and Rules

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

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

South Australia drone laws and rules

South Australia (SA) 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 South Australia (SA), 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 Adelaide, there is a high chance you will have to catch a plane, Qantas, Virgin Australia 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.

This blog post will dig dive into South Australia'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 South Australia'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 South Australia (SA)?

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 to CASA in cooperation with several drone safety apps that will keep you up to date with punctual events. You can find a list of them here.

✅ All are 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 😜) Just be aware that most main cities of South Australia (SA) are under strict regulations due to a heavy air traffic above or near them.

💡 Smart! Pack some spare drone batteries, before heading to Adelaide and ensure yourself to have enough flying time there.

Drone Fly Map Adelaide

Drone Fly Map Adelaide

🚨 In Adelaide, the airport is located only 7 kms from the city's CBD 😲 What a blast to get there (you can walk it from the Adelaide centre to the airport under 1h30) but that makes it a nightmare for flying your drone there... Important note as most of St Vincent Gulf is under a no fly zone equally.

✅ Sweet spots to fly your UAV around Adelaide:

  • Towards the East inland you will find some less to non restricted airspace around Black Hill or Belair for example.

  • Kangaroo Island is pretty sweet over to operate an UAV as long as you follow CASA's recommendations and avoid the airport's surroundings.

✅ Most other cities of South Australia are either within the Adelaide restricted airspace or small enough that you will generally just need to worry about the airports & heliports located nearby. In any case, if you see another aircraft, you should land immediately and give way.

Ready to go? Get yourself the right backpack to travel safely with your drone !

Flying a drone in SA national parks & marine reserves

🚨 Flying your unmanned aerial vehicle in a national park or reserve of South Australia (SA) is strictly forbidden for recreational use 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, you can always apply for a commercial or research permit.

The list includes the famous ones such as:

  • Cleland Conservation Park

  • Coorong National Park

  • Flinders Chase National Park

  • Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

  • Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

  • Simpson Desert Regional Reserve

  • & many more.., find a complete list here

Watch out for sea mammals! 🐳 Marine life in South Australia is strictly looked after. For this purpose, drones are considered as helicopters and you should fly no closer than 500 m (in altitude and distance) from any sea mammals in South Australia (🦈 Sharks are not sea mammals btw) 🧐. Recommendations have been given such as avoiding to approach front ways the animals.

🤑 If you get caught on the spot, it will cost you AUD$135

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

Drone & Privacy Laws in South Australia (SA)

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 SA 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:

World drone rules map; country by country

✅ Please leave a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in South Australia! Have fun and safe flight! #sa #south #australia #southaustralia #regulation #law #laws #legislation

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

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.



Drones and aircraft (South Australia National Parks)

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