Ten things to know before flying your new drone

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The operation of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as “drones” can pose a serious threat to other aircraft and people and property on the ground, especially when not operated safely and responsibly. In light of their growing popularity ICAO developed a UAS Toolkit specifically aimed at informing operators and remote pilots and keeping other aircraft and communities safe. The holiday season is the biggest time of year to be gifted a drone. Anyone operating a new drone will benefit from the following tips found in this toolkit:

1. Always consult your local Civil Aviation Authority since drone regulations and guidelines differ from country to country. Many States’ regulations can be accessed from the Toolkit.

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2. Remember that you are now a remote pilot and are responsible for flying safely, following the State regulations, and avoiding collisions.

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3. Most States require you to obtain a remote pilot licence/permit before operating a drone in that State.

4. Depending on the complexity of the operations, many States also require you to obtain a special approval before operating a drone.

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5. Keep your drone within eyesight at all times, so that you can make sure its is not flying where is shouldn’t be.

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6. Read the users’ manual provided by the manufacturer thoroughly before operating your drone and comply with all procedures/restrictions.

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7. Check your drone before each flight to make sure it is in proper operating condition.

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8. Don’t fly within 30 metres of or over people, property or vehicles.

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9. Don’t fly more than 120 metres (400 feet) above the ground.

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10. You may need special approvals to fly near airports or heliports, or in controlled airspace. If in doubt, stay at least 4km away.
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