Drones are all the rage. The demand for drones is astronomical, with the value of the industry set to balloon from $US2 billion ($2.6 billion) in 2016 to an estimated $US127 billion by 2020, according to figures from consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers.
But with the demand for great flying fun, comes considerable responsibility. Accidents can and do happen. As recently as August last year, a rogue drone smashed into a car on Sydney's Harbour Bridge.
While the British tabloid, The Mirror, reported that a drone was a mere 6 metres from colliding with a commercial airliner as it attempted to land at Manchester Airport in July 2016.
To help our readers avoid any potential drone-related disasters, Fairfax Media approached Australia's Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) to find out the key things you need to keep in mind when flying your drone this summer.
Peter Gibson, CASA's communications manager, spoke with Fairfax Media and suggested the following tips:
Read the manual
"When you get your drone make sure you read the safety rules and understand them. They are simple but very important. In most cases they come with the drone, if not go to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority's web site: casa.gov.au/modelaircraft."
Play it safe
"The rules protect people, property and aircraft. Never fly your drone in a way that will cause a hazard to people, property or aircraft."
Keep your eyes on the prize
"Always keep your drone in your line of sight. Don't rely on the first person view function, as this doesn't allow you to see everything going on around your drone. Just using FPV is risky."
Drones and crowds don't mix
"Don't take your drone to places where there are crowds of people – Bondi Beach or St Kilda Beach are very scenic but they are not places to fly your drone."
Stay clear of planes and helicopters
"If you see an aeroplane or helicopter flying low near where you are flying your drone, land immediately. Drones and aircraft don't mix."
"Never use your drone to get pics or vids of emergency situations such as bushfires or accident scenes. You will interfere with the emergency response and there may be emergency helicopters operating."
"Respect the privacy of other people. Flying your drone across the neighbourhood is not friendly and likely to upset people. You could get a knock on the door from the local police asking what you have been doing."
You can read up on drone laws on CASA's website here: casa.gov.au/aircraft/landing-page/flying-drones-australia.