In terms of creating effective regulation of unmanned aircraft systems that balances the safety of the public with the needs of journalists, Australia is perhaps at the forefront of all nations. Its airspace authority - the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) - has been one of the first in the world to provide not just the regulatory framework to operate UAS and drones, but also test ranges where the public can demonstrate their skills and their aircraft, and earn certification to fly.
Ryan Hamlet, Australian PSDJ board member and project manager at i-drone, described a certification process that sounds very similar to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) system in the United States. Essentially, a prospective drone operator provides documentation on their drone, shows up to a dedicated CASA site with the drone, and pilots the rig in front of regulators. And if the CASA representatives are satisfied, the operator can receive certification to fly the drone for commercial purposes.
The application process takes about 12 weeks, according to CASA's website. More details on the process are available on the website.
CASA also offers digital resources to operators and prospective operators of RPAS -- or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. In fact, anyone can visit the CASA website and study up on the history of RPAS, the current RPAS regulations, and also learn how to become a certified commercial RPAS operator.
Among these digital resources, CASA has included a link to the Professional Society of Drone Journalists.
PSDJ members are encouraged to check out the CASA website, and become familiar with regulations in other countries. What becomes a successful regulation in one country, could easily serve as model regulation for another.