15 Minute Read

Which course
is right for me?

Which course is right for me


We get this question asked 6-10 times every single day and we are successful in pointing people in the right direction to make the right decision.

So, we have decided to provide all the information you need in just one place! This article is designed to explain, in plain English, for drone novices who are looking to enter this industry and start a brand-new career or someone who is looking to future proof their business and incorporate drones into their existing business.

Ok! Let’s get started!

1. The Drone Industry - 2019

The Remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) industry is set to be worth a few billion dollars according to reputable sources such as PWC & Goldman Sachs.

We are a big part of this picture with Australians spending approx. USD $3.1BN in purchasing drones.

What does this mean

There is clearly a big enough market and drones are here to stay whether we like it or not! It also means that we Australians are proud early adopters of this game changing technology; and will lead the forefront in integrating drones into our businesses.

To keep up with this growth:

  • Australia is gearing towards a highly regulated system. (We are one of the few countries in the world to have a structured licencing system)
  • Stricter operating standards have been bought in by CASA with the introduction of the new Manual of Standards.
  • More & more resources are being dedicated towards building infrastructure across the country, hence evidence of strong job creation.
  • Our political system been involved in relegating the industry (Drone registration, proposing changes to the current rules etc)
  • Insurance companies starting to insurance Drones & Drone operators.
  • Tests are being conducted by Google, Airbus, Boeing etc just to name a few in Australia currently to test run the environment for mass deployment.

So, there you go! There is clearly a market and it is only forecasted to grow exponentially.

Coupled with 5G and AI, the growth is only predicted to be stronger!

2. Why do I need a Remote Pilots Licence (RePL)?

Getting a RePL is a great way to start out if you are prepared to enter the world of commercial RPAS operations! The Remote pilot’s Licence (RePL) enables operators to operate commercially under an authority of a RPA Operating Certificate (ReOC).

As a RePL holder, you can operate RPAS/Drones over 2kgs, up to the weight category for which you have been issued a licence for.

*CASA has made some exemptions for excluded category operators (RPA that weigh below 2kgs) to operate light commercial tasks but this comes with a ton of restrictions which we will discuss a later.

Getting the RePL is the first step into the Drone industry!  It is a very important document which you require to be able to operate commercially!

Once you hold a RePL, it gives you the privilege to apply for your own ReOC or join someone else’s.

3. RPA weight categories in Australia

  • Excluded Category: Below 2kgs
  • Sub 7kgs: Up to 7kgs
  • Sub 25kgs 7kgs-<25kgs
  • Sub 150kgs 25kgs to <150kgs

So as a commercial operator (RePL + ReOC holder), you are most likely to fall under the Sub 7kgs or the Sub 25kgs category!

To be able to operate commercial as non-excluded category operator, we are required to operate under an authority of a ReOC.

4. What is a ReOC

A ReOC is the MOST important document which allows a RePL holder to conduct commercial operations.

A RePL is just your individual permission to fly. If you hold a RePL, then you need be employed by someone who holders the ReOC.

If you want to own your own business, you can obtain your own ReOC.

Here is a good analogy: Lets say you have a Driver’s Licence, you are allowed to drive on the roads but you won’t be allowed to pick up passengers and charge them money legally!

For you to be able to do so, you need to either join Uber or a Taxi company which will hire you as a licenced driver so that you can charge people money. It’s exactly the same here! ReOC is like Uber/Taxi company’s ability to onboard Licenced drivers, in this case RePL holders to conduct commercial applications and charge their clients money! Get it?

When I do need to operate under the Authority of a ReOC  ?

But hang on!!

Why do I need a RePL or a ReOC then if I am only planning on using a DJI Mavic or a DJI Phantom as it falls under 2kgs and I can operate without any licences?

Here is where it gets interesting, remember we said that excluded category operators face a ton of restrictions which we will discuss a later!

5. RePL Holders VS RePL + ReOC (Commercial operators)

Recall in the previous question we said we will discuss this? Let’s take a look at it now and do a bit of a comparison.

Further to all this, as an Excluded category operator, you are only allowed to operate under the *Standard operating conditions (SOC) and You can submit the notification form for all of Australia and the form is valid for 3 years.

The notification is valid for three years, so you will need to re-notify us every three years. If you get a new drone, change your drone, or want to operate from a different place, you will need to submit a new notification form.


* The above link has the details on what the SOCs are and contains an online from to notify CASA of your intentions

On top of all this,

  • Procuring aviation grade insurance becomes very challenging and costly for excluded category operators.
  • Not many commercial jobs, which pays a decent amount entertain either a non-licenced or non-insured operator.
  • Not knowing rules pertaining to aviation means, you are likely to easily break the law, which attracts huge fines! (Up to AUD $10,000)

So clearly, it’s not worth the hassle if you are planning on operating commercially, either setting up your own drone business or incorporating Drones into your operations.

View the CASA Safety Video below – Professional drone flyer:

Remember, you need an ReOC to be able to set up your own commercial RPAS business or to incorporate RPA into your existing business.

Select the right course

Which Course is right for me?

To be able to operate commercially in Australia, you are required to hold:

  • A Remote Pilot’s licence (RePL)
  • A Remote Operator’s certificate (ReOC)

We have developed a one stop shop solution to assist you with obtain both RePL & ReOC with one simple fee structure!

We have also partnered with Study Loans if you would like to seek a payment plan option.

Here you go!

If you want to start out! OR join someone else’s ReOC

  • The Basic & the Bronze package is suitable for you!
  • Both the Basic & the Bronze package has the same outcome! (RePL Sub7kgs)
  • The only difference between the two is that the theory is done online for the Basic package but you are still required to come to our campus (for 2 days) to give an exam and complete the 5hrs of supervised practical flying component and pass the flight test whereas the Theory is taught in class for the Bronze package and it includes one on one personal coaching when ever required till you pass the course.(Or else NO Questions asked & 100% Money Back Guaranty)
  • The Bronze package is the most recommend option if you are not time poor!
  • Both the Bronze & the basic package lets you join a ReOC for commercial operations.

If you want to Start your own Drone business OR Incorporate drones into your existing business

The Silver, Gold & the Platinum package is the most suitable option for you!

  • The Silver package = RePL (Online) Sub 7kgs + Express ReOC (for Sub 7kgs operations)
  • The Gold package = RePL (Face to Face) Sub 7kgs + Express ReOC (for Sub 7kgs operations)
  • The Platinum package = RePL (Online) Sub 25kgs + Express ReOC (for Sub 25kgs operations) + Certificate III in Aviation (Remote pilot – VLOS)

Taking up the Silver, Gold or the Platinum packages means, that there is No running around and we look after everything for you!

  • You don’t have pay someone for the ReOC consultation (to prepare your Operations Manuals & procedures Libraries)
  • You don’t have to worry about which forms to fills out and what documents you need to compile for submission to CASA for your ReOC application.
  • You don’t have to worry about paying an addition fee to CASA after the ReOC consultation process. (CASA ReOC fees start from $1280)
  • You don’t have to wait for 6-9 months going back and forth with CASA as you would be must likely submitting your paper work to CASA on your own.

We will look after everything for you when you sign up for Silver, Gold or the Platinum packages to get you started for commercial operations!

Our single course fees covers all:

  • ReOC fees to CASA Delegate ($1680)
  • We look after putting together all your documentations and compiling the paper work necessary for your ReOC
  • A dedicated case officer from ACE AVIATION will be assigned to you to look after all your requirements and will hold hands with you till you get your ReOC granted.
  • Our course fees will also cover you for six refresher classes (where you can come and attend our RePL course six times whenever we run a batch to brush up on any items you are in doubt)

So, there you go! We hope this gives you a good insight into what the drone industry is doing and what you require to operate commercially!

But wait, there's more.

Continue reading more articles from Ace News or explore ways to gain your RePL Licence.


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