AirShare logo full white
Search
Close this search box.

Know the rules

doubleArrow-8

Know the rules

It’s important to know the rules before you fly your drone.  It’s an aircraft, so can be a hazard to people, property and other aircraft.  Understanding the rules will help you to keep yourself, your drone and other aircraft safe when operating your drone.

When flying uncrewed aircraft in New Zealand, you need to follow the Civil Aviation Part 101 rules. There are some exemptions to these rules – if you aren’t able to comply, you need to apply for a Part 102 certification.

Complying with these rules can also help you avoid fines or prosecution.  Here’s a simple to follow checklist of the key rules – there’s also a downloadable brochure, and a Share the Skies video to watch – see below.

Rule #2

How close can I fly my drone
over people and buildings?

Rule #2

Stay a safe and considerable distance away from people and buildings. Don’t fly directly over people, unless they say it’s OK.
Learn more

Rule #3

Can I fly over private land
like farms or houses?

Rule #3

Don't fly over private land unless the owner says it's OK. Check with the local council or the Department of Conservation before flying in public areas such as parks, beaches and reserves.
Learn more

Rule #4

When can I fly my drone
and in what kind of conditions?

Rule #4

Keep your drone in direct sight, and fly only in daylight when visibility is good.
Fly only in daylight (unless shielded) and when visibility is good – stay clear of fog and cloud. First person view (FPV) flights must have an observer - i.e. those using a device to fly their drone.
Learn more

Rule #5

How close can I fly my drone
to an aerodrome or airport?

Rule #5

Stay 4km away from anywhere aircraft are landing or taking off. Unless you can meet the speical requirements.
This includes helipads at hospitals and those used by sightseeing aircraft. Be aware that controlled airspace around airports extends well beyond the 4km limit – you must have authorisation from air traffic control to operate in any controlled airspace. Don’t fly in special use airspace, such as Low Flying Zones, Restricted or Military Operating Areas without approval from the administering authority.
Learn more

Rule #6

How close can I fly my drone
to an aircraft in the sky?

Rule #6

It's dangerous to fly drones anywhere other aircraft are operating.
Learn more

Fly no higher than 120m (400ft) above the ground

Unless special conditions are met. This reduces the risk of your drone being a hazard to other aircraft.

Stay a safe and considerate distance away from people and buildings

Don’t fly directly over people, unless they say it’s OK.

Don’t fly over private land, such as farms or houses, unless the owner says it’s OK

Check with the local council or the Department of Conservation before flying in public areas such as parks, beaches and reserves.

Keep your drone in direct sight at all times

Fly only in daylight (unless shielded) and when visibility is good – stay clear of fog and cloud. First person view (FPV) flights must have an observer - i.e. those using a device to fly their drone.

Stay 4km away from anywhere aircraft are landing or taking off

Unless you can meet the special requirements. This includes helipads at hospitals and those used by sightseeing aircraft. Be aware that controlled airspace around airports extends well beyond the 4km limit – you must have authorisation from air traffic control to operate in any controlled airspace. Don’t fly in special use airspace, such as Low Flying Zones, Restricted or Military Operating Areas without approval from the administering authority.

It’s dangerous to fly drones anywhere other aircraft are operating

If you see another aircraft, stay well clear of it and land immediately.

Part 101 rules for uncrewed aircraft

When flying your drone you need to follow the CAA's Part 101 rules, to keep yourself, others and your aircraft safe.


Part 102 certification

If you want to fly an uncrewed aircraft outside of the Part 101 rules - such as operating unshielded at night, flight over property with prior notification, or with an aircraft that weighs over 25 kg - you'll need to apply for a Part 102 uncrewed aircraft operator certificate.