Aerial view of suburban houses
  • 16 Apr 2024
  • 3 min read
  • By the Civil Aviation Safety Authority

What to look for when hiring a drone professional

Real estate photography, Drones

Using drones for real estate photography is the ultimate tool for capturing the best features of your customers' properties – the view, location and proximity to nearby attractions and amenities.


The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) reminds agents to be aware of their obligations when commissioning aerial photography services in real estate to make sure they’re using a safe and legal operator.


Here are the top five questions you can ask your drone photographer to make sure you and your clients have the best experience possible when preparing to list and market a property.


1. Is their drone registered?

Ask for proof of registration. There is mandatory drone registration for all commercial drones. It is an offence for a drone service provider to fly an unregistered drone and penalties apply.

2. What licence do they hold?

Operators who hold a remote pilot licence (RePL) have undergone specialist flight training and often offer a larger range of photography services.

They can fly with additional privileges and permissions to the drone safety rules such as within 30 metres of other people. A qualified remote pilot must also be operating for an individual or business that holds a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC).

You can ask to see a copy of the RePL and the ReOC to make sure they’re qualified for your project. It will also list the conditions they are able to operate under like flying at night so you can capture the property hero shot.

3. No RePL or ReOC?

Ask your photographer if your project can be completed within the drone safety rules. They must still hold a commercial operator accreditation and their drone must be registered with CASA.

4. Do they need CASA approval?

If the drone is flying within 5.5 km of a controlled airport, check the operator has an approval from CASA to fly in restricted airspace.

You can ask to see their approval from CASA which will tell you the type of operations and conditions that have been approved and the period – don’t get caught out with an expired approval. 

5. Do they have insurance?

Even with the relevant qualifications, accid­­­­ents can still happen. Drones can break, fail, fall and crash. Check that public liability insurance applies to the services being provided.

Failing to check operators are appropriately licensed, certified, accredited and registered could void their insurance as a result ofconducting illegal operations in the event of accident, causing damage to property or injury to others.

For more information, visit CASA’s website:

Read more from the REIQ: Legal requirements of security cameras at open homes.

Or browse our suite of property sales articles.


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