Management Committee

ACUO Management Committee (MC) is made up of 7 full members of the association elected annually by their peers.

The Management Committee meets regularly to make decisions on the strategies, policies & growth of the association, to discuss matters of importance to ACUO and its members, and to ensure the integrity of the association and its core values are being maintained.

The Management Committee members are:

President: Tom Pils
The Drone Lawyer

Tom Pils

Tom is a lawyer by profession and has specialised in drone law since 2016, coming from a background in commercial law and litigation. His intimate knowledge of the drone regulatory landscape combined with an understanding of the greater commercial environment in which drone businesses operate, places him in a unique position to advise his clients on the drone regulations while also considering the big picture commercial regulatory aspects of an issue or decision.

When Tom is not writing contracts, advising on complex areas of the drone legislation, or representing clients in court, his passion lies in drone law education. One of Tom’s great pleasures, somewhat oddly, is to take a seemingly confusing Instrument or regulatory amendment, analyse and dismantle it, and then express it in a plain manner yet without losing its meaning, so that drone operators can understand their legal rights and obligations.

As President of ACUO, Tom aims to use these skills, and to work alongside the Management Committee to protect the interests of CASA Certified RPAS Operators, and to promote the growth and expansion of the commercial RPAS industry in Australia.

Secretary: James Jones
Droneit Group

MC Member: Ty Tamblyn
Air Inspect Australia

Ty Tamblyn

Ty has been involved in the drone industry since 2016 when he purchased his first phantom. He enjoys using his creative photography skills in the air. He has spent the last 13 years as a Professional Photographer in the Sunshine Coast, specialising in Commercial Photography, Real Estate and Virtual Tours.

By making the leap of swapping his DSLR for a drone, Ty knows what truly drives change, innovation, and revolution within the realms of photography and drones.

Ty is a senior remote pilot and has recently taken on the role as business development manager at Air Inspect Australia. When he learned about the integration of aerial data acquisition into digital representations, he knew this is where is professional future would take him. Ty has worked on successful campaigns that have connected clients with aerial data acquisition solutions to commercial property problems.

Ty believes life is too short to do work you hate. He is always working directly with people and wants to develop a new generation of like-minded people with a desire to live in a world with drones.

MC Member: Sean Mattheisz
Air Inspect Australia

Sean Mattheisz

Sean is a digital native starting his career in Robotics and transitioned into the IT and services industry. He has over 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications sector from working hands-on in software development, to managing large scale projects and programs to ultimately drive business development due to his commitment in achieving customer outcomes.  His continual passion in digital systems has nourished his technical skills into unmanned aircrafts and the benefits of their societal impact. He is the Chief Remote Pilot and Business Development Manager at Air Inspect Australia –  a safe aerial data acquisition specialist – providing end-to-end aerial imagery solutions.

Sean is a strong advocate of aviation safety, sustainable development and innovative solutions. He has delivered cutting edge aerial strategies and innovative campaigns that increase efficiency and safety, accelerate growth and maximise the budgets of commercial enterprises.

Sean is always open to challenges, discussions and exchange of ideas from various stakeholders in the UAV industry.

MC Member: Michael Coyne
Unique Aerial Solutions

Michael Coyne

Director and Chief Remote Pilot Michael Coyne. Michael firsts gained his Commercial Pilots Licence (manned) in 1996 and has held his Licence with numerous aircraft types and endorsements since. As a subject matter expert in Air Law and Legislation, Michael has been called on to consult with Civil Aviation Safety Authority over the last 9 years in relation to official forms templates and requirements, to changes in legislation.

Michael was first introduced into RPAS (drones) in 2010 and has been actively involved in the industry both nationally and internationally on a full-time basis. Assisting multiple Australian and International companies in industries such as Mining, Survey, Construction, Film and Video media, Agriculture, and Education to gain their commercial qualifications through CASA.

Michael has spent time by invitation in Germany, training and as an instructor in flight and maintenance of Multi Rotor RPAS by the manufacturer. Michael’s working experience in RPAS covers Multi Rotor, Fixed Wing and VTOL from micro to 100kg plus MTOW.

MC Member: Danny Elassad


Danny is the Chief Remote Pilot of one of Australia’s longest operating drone service providers, Hoverscape.

Prior to entering the drone industry in 2017, Danny was a chef for the past 15 years running multiple restaurants and cafes across Sydney, but a love for technology and photography persuaded the career change to the ever-growing RPAS industry.

After taking the plunge into the creative side of the industry and logging hundreds of hours across various categories of RPAS, he joined Hoverscape as a remote pilot and worked through the ranks to become their Chief Remote Pilot.
While specialising commercially in Digital Twins and aerial inspections, Danny also specialises in the creative aspects of the industry, from general photography to large scale cinematic productions.

MC Member: Aaron McKay
Aus Aerial Media

Aaron McKay

I am a photographic and video specialist working in both these industries for over 25 years.

My vision is to provide a simple, affordable and excellent photographic and video solution to my clients.

I pride myself on my work ethic and attention to detail and will deliver the best solution to whatever photographic, video or mapping requirements, ground based or aerial you might need.

I’ve taken my vast skills into the aerial media field and has been utilising drones for aerial photography and video, mapping, data analysis and 3D modelling since 2017.

Working with State and local governments bodies, the construction industry, builders and demolition companies his business Aus Aerial Media have become experts in capturing data for the construction and demolition industries specialising in Time-Lapse videos of projects, aerial mapping, 3D modelling and fine art images of the construction and demolition projects.

Please contact the President or Secretary about becoming an MC Member


RPAS Training [chaired by Mike Manning]

  • This sub-committee was initiated following the public release of the CASA Draft MOS and the training standards being proposed.
  • The objective of this sub-committee was to review the broadening array of RPAS training options in development, including the draft MOS training standards, the Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot-VLOS) and the existing RePL training course delivered in the market.
  • Sub-committee members are assisting Australian Industry Standards with a review of the Certificate III syllabus, with improvements to training outcomes and new electives to cover specific industry sectors including; Infrastructure Inspections; SAR; aerial mapping; Aerial Application [chemical spraying]; and a new Certificate IV in BVLOS Operations.
  • The next task for this sub-committee is to run a comparison across the syllabus of the 2 main training pathways [RePL & Cert III] for expansions and improvements.

UTM [chaired by Joe Urli]

  • This sub-committee was borne from a desire to consolidate a wide variety of disparate developments in unmanned traffic management systems for Australia, and to assist federal and state regulators with their decision making relative to the future development of the RPA industry.
  • UTM is central to BVLOS operations, Cargo drones, Passenger drones and many related urban and city based RPA activities. It is important that we get UTM right, including the legislative, operational, financial and social issues with wider RPA use across the community.
  • There has been little or no leadership from federal or state regulators to date and our objective is to ensure the topic is discussed and agreed in an open and transparent manner.
  • The sub-committee is currently in discussions with senior aviation stakeholders to work collaboratively.
  • A cooperative group of aviation stakeholders is currently drawing together the expertise for a Forum to discuss the finer details of UTM and how it will function in the real world.

Aerial Application [chaired by Brad Mason]

  • This sub-committee was initiated out of a request to assist the sector with self-administration, something both CASA and state regulators had suggested to potential operators.
  • The sub-committee consists of experienced and approved operators in this sector, and is supported by state regulators and research authorities.
  • There are specific safety and environmental considerations with this activity which requires a thorough understanding of chemicals, aerial application and spray-drift effects & management.
  • The sub-committee is working with state regulators, research authorities and other stakeholders to develop a national standard for RPAS training, equipment and operations in RPAS Aerial Application.
  • The sub-committee has been providing qualified support to Australian Industry Standards (AIS) review of the Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot-VLOS) and the development of a new elective unit of study in RPAS Aerial Application.
  • The sub-committee is currently working with state regulators and research authorities to develop the baseline technical and operational standards required to guide an increasingly varied market of aerial application RPA systems [many of them untested and with no requirement for testing in their own countries], and the remote pilots who operate them.