Water and Waste Water inspector Joe Morrissey with plant operator Blake Brewer-Charles and the new Lismore City Council drone to be used to inspect wastewater trunk mains and overflow.
Water and Waste Water inspector Joe Morrissey with plant operator Blake Brewer-Charles and the new Lismore City Council drone to be used to inspect wastewater trunk mains and overflow. Marc Stapelberg

Drone warning for the Southern Downs

SOUTHERN Downs residents who got a drone for Christmas are warned to follow the mandatory safety rules at all times or face hefty fines.

Thousands of new drone pilots are launching their aircraft this week and safety must come first.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority's Peter Gibson said drones were a very popular Christmas present in 2016 and are more fun to fly than ever before.

"CASA wants people to have fun flying their drone but we need the fun to be safe,” Mr Gibson said.

"Uncrowded parks, spaces with no people around or a secluded beach are great places to fly your drone.

"Drone flyers must not cause a hazard to people, property or aircraft at any time.

"There are penalties for breaking the drone rules, with fines of up to $9000.”

Drone flyers must stay more than 30 metres away from other people, never fly around crowds or groups of people and keep their drone in sight at all times.

If drone flyers see a low-flying aircraft they must ground their drone immediately.

CASA is also calling on drone flyers to respect the privacy of other people by never flying over backyards or around homes.



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