Use of drones in business

Use of drones in business. 

Drones have gone from being the stuff of science fiction, to new age warfare used by militaries around the world and now they have been found to be a great tool for many businesses.

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the US Consumer Technology Association, which is well known for its annual Consumer Electronics Show conference in Las Vegas, has been quoted as saying:

“They are an economic game changer, one that will transform the way we do business. Drones are already assisting emergency and disaster management programs, national weather service tracking, traffic management programs, shipment delivery and much more. Popularity of drones has risen because of falling costs for sensors and other components, improved battery technology and people have seen the impossible become possible.”

In Australia, the number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drones” being used for commercial purposes is on the increase with the Civil Aviation & Safety Authority (CASA) having granted over 200 licenses by 2015. This is up from just 14 licenses in 2012.

Australian businesses are finding many uses for drones, such as:

• Aerial photography

• Aerial surveillance

• News reporting

• Agricultural uses, such as spraying

• Power line inspections

• Mining surveys

We think that in the not too distant future drones will be used for deliveries… How much quicker would you receive that late night pizza if it were delivered right to your door by a drone?!

Businesses should note that as at December 21, 2015 it is still illegal to fly any drone for commercial gain without certification.

If you are using a drone you must adhere to the regulations imposed by CASA. Some of the main points are as follows:

• Drones must be operated within line-of-sight and in daylight hours

• You must not fly within 30m of vehicles, boats, buildings or people

• If you are in controlled airspace (most Australian cities) you must not fly higher than 400ft (120m)

• You must not fly within 5.5 km of an airfield

• It is illegal to fly for money or commercial benefit unless you have an unmanned operators certificate issue by CASA

Fines for the misuse of drones can be up to $8,500.

If you plan on using a drone in your business, contact the Civil Aviation Safety Authority first at

You should then consider your insurance requirements. Whilst it may not be a legal requirement to have insurance, you would be silly not to.

Consider a scenario where your drone crashes into a tree, or falls from the sky causing irreparable damage. What is the cost to replace the drone without the benefit of insurance?

Or worse still, consider your legal liability in the event you cause injury to another person or damage to someone else’s property. Such claims can run into the millions.

There is also the issue of breach of privacy laws, harassment and surveillance & data collection, to name just a few additional factors for consideration.

To ensure that you are properly insured you should speak with your insurance broker.

Ausure Insurance Brokers Macarthur would be more than happy to discuss your business risks and insurance requirements with you. Contact Ausure Insurance Brokers Macarthur today at

Author: Jarrod O'Brien