Our use of drones

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Councils Use of Drones

Port Macquarie Hastings Council (PMHC) utilizes remotely piloted aircraft systems (drones) for many different purposes.

Our Project Delivery team use drones to manage and maintain Council assets such as bridges and waterways. Drones are also used across various projects for surveying and site analysis, as well as coastal monitoring, environmental assessment, data collection and visual communications.

Commercial drone pilots are required to hold a Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s certificate, issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA).

PMHC Chief Pilot holds a commercial drone license which is overseen by CASA. 

We have developed a set of regulatory guidelines in accordance with CASAs requirements for drone operation. All staff who are responsible for drone operation adhere to these guidelines. 

How to Identify a PMHC Drone

Our drone pilots will be wearing PMHC uniform.

You may also see portable yellow signage to indicate a drone is in use, and in most cases our drone pilots will spray markings on the ground called control points. These are used as a reference point for surveyors to calibrate a map to a known coordinate system.

If you are concerned about privacy, you can view our Scheduled Flights section below and confirm if the drone you have spotted is related to a project or planned flight close to your location.

This will tell you a date range for the scheduled flight, a location, the project name, and the purpose of the flight.

Privacy

We are committed to the safety, privacy, and wellbeing of all our residents.

Our drone pilots follow the PMHC Privacy Policy. View our privacy policy here.

Scheduled Flights

 Project  Flight Dates Location   Purpose of Flight
Bain Park Ongoing Wauchope Surveying Land
Langdon's Bridge 18/04/2023 Bril Bril Road Asset Management 
Widderson's St Reservoir 01/01/24 - 31/12/24 Bain Park Asset Management
Cowal Creek Bridge 22/04/2024 Cowal Creek Rd Asset Management
Nobby's Beach Boardwalk TBA Nobby's Beach Flood Repair

Qualifications and Compliance

The operation of drones in Australian airspace is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). For more information on drone operations and license requirements, visit the CASA website here.

FAQs

Why is a PMHC drone flying near my house?

All PMHC drone flights are connected to a current or future PMHC project. If your area is not listed in our ‘Scheduled Flights’ section above, you will be able to find more details on our project page.

What do the painted markings mean?

Painted markings are reference points for surveyors to calibrate a map to a known coordinate system.

These are necessary for on-going drone capture for surveying purposes.


Contact 

For more information about how the council uses drones, please contact us on (02) 6581 8111 or email us here.