Excluded Category Training

In September 2016, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority introduced a new set of regulations designed to relax the legislative requirements for certain classes of RPAS operations. These new regulations introduced the excluded category. All operations involving RPA with a take-off weight less than 2kg fall into this category. For landholders, this exclusion is extended further to larger craft as well.

But what exactly does this mean? The term excluded category might suggest that an operator is excluded from all of the legislation that is otherwise required. However, this simply isn’t the case. A more meaningful answer may be found by asking what are operators in this category not excluded from.

Excluded category operators are NOT excluded from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Regulation 1998. This is the key piece of legislation for remote pilots and applies to everyone using an RPA.

Excluded category operators are NOT excluded from Standard Operating Conditions. These parameters must be adhered to by all RPA pilots, and are of particular relevance to the excluded category who cannot qualify for exemptions or approvals.

Use this flowchart to determine if your operations, craft and experience fall within the Excluded Category. Disclaimer: This document should be taken as legal advice, operators should consult the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation 1998 prior to all operations.

Adapted from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s Advisory Circular

Fundamentally, what the excluded category removes is the need for an operational airworthiness certification. This is termed a Remote Operator’s Certificate and while it is a requirement for restricted category, it is not necessary for excluded category operations.

Then there is the problem of insurance. By operating in excluded category, you ARE excluded from insurance. Brokers use the CASA Remote Pilot’s License and Remote Operator’s Certificate to assess risk in RPAS operations. As a result, excluded category pilots carry additional public liability and craft risks that cannot be insured against.

As an excluded category operator, you need the knowledge and skills inherent in a Remote Pilot’s License training course.

However, we understand that for many reasons, aspiring remote pilots may not want to, or be able to undertake a comprehensive RePL program. As such we have put together an introductory course, designed specifically to give people an introduction to the legal rights and responsibilities of excluded category operators. We offer a half-day learning program, that will get you up to speed with the rules and regulations, and a full day program that includes practical instruction for those operators just starting out.

Know your rights, know your responsibilities. Sign up to one of our excluded category courses and learn how to conduct your RPAS operations safely and inside the law.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I heard the regulations have changed so I don’t need to do training anymore.
A: While the regulations have changed, without a level of basic training or knowledge of civil aviation law and general operational requirements, it is impossible to know when, where and how to operate safely and legally.

Q: These things are easy to fly, why should I do training?
A: While it is easy to operate the basic system, there are always more advanced functions of the system that you may want to explore in a safe environment. We will also be able to teach you to fly without the full automated systems (i.e. with the GPS off) and make you a better pilot. In addition, as our graduates attest, the physical operation of an RPA forms a very small part of planning and conducting safe and successful operations.

Q: How much does less than 2kg training cost?
A: Prices start from $499.00 (inc GST) per student for our full day program or $299.00 (inc GST) per student for our half day program. Get in contact with us or fill in the form below to discuss your requirements, group discounts may apply. Please note minimum numbers apply.