If you already have a qualification in manned aviation, such as a PPL, HPL, CPL or ATPL, or wish to obtain such a qualification in the future, you can obtain your UAV Controller’s Certificate without doing the Remote Pilot Certificate course. This page contains information on how to obtain your UAV Controller’s Certificate via the PPL route.

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The following video is a roadmap of the overall process you need to follow in order to apply for your UAV Controller Certificate. We also discuss the topics covered in our focussed RPA / UAV PPL Theory course as well as the minimum books / equipment required to study for and sit your PPL Theory exam. We also cover the basic definitions and why we are starting to push the term RPA over UAV.


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The UAV Controller Certificate Qualification


  • A UAV Controllers Certificate (UAV CC) can be compared to a ‘Commercial Pilot’s Licence’
  • It allows the certified person to operate an RPA in Australia in accordance with laws set by CASA
  • It does not however allow a person to fly a RPA for commercial gain UNLESS they are flying it for a company that already hold a UAV Operators Certificate
  • Consequently, an RPA Controller’s certificate is most likely to be attained for one of two purposes:
    • To operate an RPA as an employee of a company holding a UAV Operators Certificate
    • To aid in an individual’s or company’s application for a UAV Operators Certificate

Private Pilot Licence Theory Course

  • Private Pilot Licence (PPL) theory accreditation is a mandatory part in any UAV Controller Certificate application
  • It is imperative that commercial operators of RPA’s have a sound knowledge of aviation and Australian aviation law
  • The CASA PPL theory exam is required as a baseline of knowledge for many other aviation qualifications
  • Applicants can be accredited with a PPLA (Fixed wing PPL) or PPLH (Helicopter PPL) depending on which course they feel more comfortable completing
  • Either PPLA or PPLH is sufficient for a UAV Controller Certificate


  • CASA imposes some basic prerequisites for UAV Controller’s Certificate applicants:
  1. A valid Aviation Reference Number
  2. Obtain a Letter of Introduction from CASA for the Basic Aeronautical Knowledge (BAK) Exam exemption
  3. Private Pilot’s Licence theory accreditation
  4. Aircraft Radio Operator’s Certificate of Proficiency
  5. Pass an English Language Proficiency exam at an ASL examination centre
  6. Undergo manufacturer’s training on RPA category you will be flying
  7. Log 5 hours on RPA type to be endorsed (This must be recorded in your logbook)
  8. Obtain a CASA class 2 medical certificate (ONLY if YOUR company requires)
  9. Obtain an Instrument Rating Exam Exemption (if required)
  • RPAS Training & Solutions provides detailed consultancy to help our clients attain a UAV Controllers Certificate

Manufacturer’s Type Training

  • Type training is an important part of UAV Controllers Certificate training as it allows a controller to become familiar with the RPA they will fly.
  • As is the case for manned flight, CASA requires a UAV Controller to have a nominal amount of flying experience to be endorsed on that type.
  • UAV Controller Certificate applicants require a minimum of five hours on the type they will fly commercially.
  • RPAS Training & Solutions provide manufacturers training for ‘unrestricted’ RPA’s of below 7kg and multi-copters.

Exam Exemptions 

  • BAK Exam Exemption
    • Applicants who have completed a PPL theory course with the intention of using this qualification to attain a UAV Controller’s Certificate may apply to CASA for a Letter of Introduction instead of sitting a Basic Aeronautical Knowledge (BAK) exam before sitting the PPL exam.
  • Instrument Rating Exam Exemption
    • UAV Controllers Certificate applicants can apply for an instrument rating exemption as long as all of the RPAS operations will be (VLOS).
    • However, to be accredited as a (BVLOS) controller, this qualification will need to be held.

A valid UAV Controllers Certificate is a mandatory requirement for the Chief Controller of an organisation applying for a  Remote Operators Certificate (ReOC)

Download a CASA ARN Application Form

Download an RPAS Controllers Certificate Application Form

Comlaw Website – UAV Exemption Document

Call us on 1300 RPAS TRAINING (1300 772 787) / 02 4203 3007 or complete the contact form on the home page to find out how we can provide you with a full 1-stop-shop solution from individual Remote Pilot training to overall company UOC Manual Development & training or RPAS Consulting for your specific requirements.