Yes, this can be very beneficial, a great way to meet new people and gain more experience.

The season dates vary between locations, however, generally from September through to April.

Surveillance must be undertaken across a 7-hour patrolling period (9am – 4pm) with two to three 15-minute flights each hour dependent upon conditions.

The minimum age requirement to be a UAV Pilot is 16 years of age.

Yes, volunteer UAV Pilot hours will count towards your patrolling hours. Please join your local club as any category of member and include this information in your Expression of Interest.

At this point in time Surf Life Saving NSW are only utilising UAVs to service those contracts we have with government and our commercial partner, Westpac. If your club is interested in being involved in the future, then please contact

Yes! Surf Life Saving welcomes all interested members of the community to join and be a part of this great organisation.

Having your RePL is a fantastic start to your UAV operational experience, although you will still be required to complete at least one (1) day of wildlife surveillance, shark identification, induction into the SLSNSW Standard Operating Procedures, and induction into the local operating procedures.

Yes, we need to get an official application via the links above in order to engage you in proficiency programs prior to the 2020/21 season.

Please see the UAV Program Fact Sheet for more information.

The general process is as follows:

  1. Complete the appropriate application form linked above;
  2. Sign up to an SLS club, if not already done;
  3. Complete a UAV Operator’s Induction Program (OIP);
  4. Complete x2 probationary shifts with an attending UAV Operator;
  5. Be signed off by Branch UAV Coordinator;
  6. Begin being rostered and completing operations.

An RePL licence is not required nor acquired when inducted as a UAV Operator, as you would be operating with SLS under the Commercial Excluded Sub-2kg Category. As a UAV Pilot however, you will be conducting operations outside of this category, so an RePL licence is required and can be organised to be obtained through a training course conducted by our training partner, but at the Pilot’s own financial expense.

No, the course is an internally recognised award that only licences you to operate UAVs under SLSNSW's ReOC.