A scheme to register drones and accredit commercial and recreational drone pilots in Australia has been pushed back.

The regulations were due to start this month, but the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) now says it will be implemented in phases from late this year.

Registration of commercial drones is expected to kick off the process.

Recreational flyers with drones weighing more than 250g will have to complete a brief online course before registration, at a cost of about $20. According to Peter Gibson from CASA, drones will be given a registration number and authorities will be able to identify the owners.

Commercial applications – such as aerial monitoring of infrastructure, photography and videography, providing reconnaissance to firefighters and flying supplies into flood-ravaged areas, – will be registered separately.

The worldwide non-military drone market, dominated by manufacturers in China, is estimated to triple in size to $14.3 billion in sales over the next decade. The market is estimated at $4.9 billion this year.