Does your organisation need a Remote Operator Certificate?

Does your organisation need a Remote Operator Certificate? Holding a Remote Operator Certificate (ReOC) allows organisations to operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) of any size commercially.

Your organisation will need a Remote Operator Certificate on the following occasions:

  1. Operating drones above 2kg commercially for financial gain
  2. Operating outside of the Standard Operating Conditions
  3. Operating in restricted airspace
  4. By client request (this is very common)

When your organisation does not need a Remote Operator Certificate

  1. Operating a drone up to 150kg over the organisation’s land for no financial gain
  2. Operating a drone less than 2kg within the Standard Operating Conditions

The Remote Operator Certificate is governed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and allows an organisation to commercially employ and utilise Remote Pilot Licence (RePL) holders. Once the organisation obtains the Remote Operator Certificate, it can operate within the conditions of its certificate and the contents of its manual. Initially, ReOC holders will only operate in the Standard Operating Conditions (SOC). ReOC holders can request approval to operate outside of the standard operating conditions for things such as Beyond Visual Line of Sight and operations above 400ft, this is common practice. The ReOC is also essential if your company intends to earn money by operating RPAS above 2kg.

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To understand the structure of how a business must look when operating RPAS commercially, we can liken it to an airline such as QANTAS. QANTAS as the company, must hold an Air Operator’s Certificate and then each pilot operating aircraft in that company must also hold the relevant licence. When applied to your business and RPAS, an individual, incorporated company or body corporate must hold an ReOC with each individually requiring the appropriate RePL.


To obtain a ReOC, an organisation submits an operations manual containing company policies and procedures to CASA (or a delegate) for review and approval. Additionally, the holder of the ReOC must nominate a Chief Remote Pilot for the company’s operations. This designated individual is responsible for ensuring that operations taking place are safe and legal.

To be considered for this position, the individual must hold a RePL as a minimum requirement but should be licensed in each aircraft category and aircraft weight class. Once nominated, the Chief Pilot will be issued an example job by CASA to prepare a job safety and risk assessment and must complete a phone interview with CASA.

Aviassist can guide you through the entire process of obtaining a Remote Operator Certificate. We will complete the operational documentation for you, review your submission and conduct a pre-interview with the chief pilot to ensure the level of knowledge.

The initial ReOC is valid for a period of 12 months. A small fee is charged to renew for an additional three years.


The best practice is for any organisation to operate under a Remote Operator’s Certificate. There are options to operate without a ReOC for operations less than 2kg in the excluded category.

More information on obtaining a ReOC or give us a call on 1300 359 772

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