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Flying in New Zealand

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by rnk9484, May 1, 2016.

  1. rnk9484

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    Hi all,
    Just signed up for this great forum! I'm planning a trip to New Zealand with my kids this July and want to take my P3. Any advice or experiences out there regarding drone laws in New Zealand?



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  2. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Phantom Pilots forum. I hope that you will take advantage of the benefits that come with membership and that you will be able to use the forum for the exchange of innovative ideas and as a resource for current developments in Phantom quadcopter’s.

    New Zealand

    Some of the regulations: Drones must be flown under 400 feet, must be kept in the line of sight, can only fly during the day, must stay at least 4 km away from aerodromes, and must weigh under 25 kg. New Zealand permits the commercial usage of drones as long as other rules are followed.

    Here is the official CAA site - https://www.caa.govt.nz/rpas/
     
  3. Aotearoa Kiwi

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    In NZ the go-to site for information - www.airshare.co.nz

    Basically you cannot fly in 'controlled airspace' without permission, the only problem there is the major cities eg all of Wellington area (the capital city), and all of greater Auckland (most populous city) are controlled airspaces! - go to the airshare site and it has a good interactive map of the controlled airspaces.

    There is an exemption where you have a physical barrier between you and the controlled airspaces, otherwise login to airshare and register your' flight - they come back with an 'ok'.
    You dont need to take a '101' but should read it.
    There is also an escape clause that says you dont need to register your flight as long as you dont fly above the treeline or building height - shielded flight

    On top of the CAA rules covered in the airshare site, you have to abide by the local council rules - I live in Auckland and the Auckland Council have no official 'procedure' for flying in public places and parks but they give permission to fly in these places as long as you dont interfere with other activities in the parks etc. eg dont fly over the local soccer club match. The only other public places restriction (renember, I am talking Auckland here - where I fly) is you are not allowed to fly over people without first asking their permission.

    source: Rules and guidelines for flying drones

    A first for New Zealand - a person was today in court found guilty for flying his Phantom filming a bush-fire while helicopters were in the sky fighting the fire - charged with endangering a helicopter pilot i think - something I dont recommend doing! - anywhere in the world!
     
    #3 Aotearoa Kiwi, May 6, 2016
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
    Raftcomm likes this.
  4. rnk9484

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    Thank you for the warm welcome and the good information about New Zealand .


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  5. Msw46

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    If you have never been to NZ it's a great place to visit with your phantom enjoy
     
  6. Raftcomm

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    Thanks for putting up this useful information. I currently live in Auckland and am researching about flying drones in NZ before deciding to purchase one.

    Have you ever applied to fly in a controlled air space and was granted permission? I do unfortunately live within the controlled airspace region but would like to film areas around my home. I'm just wondering if that's even possible now.


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  7. Aromamedix

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    I was going to take my Phantom 3 pro to NZ next week, but the DOC regulator BS has turned me right off doing so. You have to nominate exactly where you want to fly, bit hard to do when you have never been there before right? I asked for no-fly zones, environmentally & culturally sensitive areas so I could determine where not to fly but no good. Its all backwards..
     
  8. Aotearoa Kiwi

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    Where about in NZ are/were you planning to fly? You only need to reg your' flight if it is near an airfield and controlled airspace etc. in which case, lodging a 'flight plan' with airshare isnt too bad, they like you to do it 24hrs before flight and ask you to let them know when you finish - to be honest I have only registered flight once as I know a couple of rural landowners who dont mind me using their paddocks. The general rule I use is 'sheltered' flight which requires no pre-lodging. Most cities have a rule that you can fly in their parks w/o asking, the only proviso is that you dont fly over or annoy people - eg soccer matches or other events in parks are no-no, and if you do wish to fly over people in the park, you need to ask their permission.
    It is all common sense really, one guy got pinged for flying his drone over a forest fire where they were using choppers/monsoon buckets, and someone recently flew over a protected bird breeding ground and crashed his drone and lost it and rumor has it that his wallet took a hit a bit later on...
     
  9. Aromamedix

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    Omapere, the Waipoua forest areas along the west coast and other areas on the east coast in the bay of islands plus up through the Coramandel. Pretty much all Dept of Conservation areas, that's the problem. CAS were fine & I had no issues getting clearance from them, DOC on the other hand is one big bag of paperwork and delays getting approvals. I was after some of teh beautiful scenary apparently found throughout these areas, not interested in flying in farmed paddocks or within city parks, can do that here. NZ now has the 2nd most restrictive drone environment outside of Thailand apparently, real pity from a tourism point of view. Will just have to scout out the areas & come back for a trip once I know where I want to fly..
     
  10. Aotearoa Kiwi

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    Yes, DOC are very twitchie, often with good reason - we have quite a few endangered species, which I can understand. I just looked at the form to fill in - seems most of it (eg how many people and landings) refer to full-size aircraft, and as DOC does point out on their site - as far as FAA rules in NZ, anything mechanical that flies is classed as a full aircraft and that seems to be the simplistic approach they are taking. I know in the USA that you cannot fly in national parks, it is the same in New Zealand more or less (DOC land is close proximation to a 'national park'. If the application fee wasnt so high, I would have tried filling in a request and see what they say. If you give me an exact site you have in mind, I could make a phone call next Tuesday (Monday is a New Zealand Holiday - Waitangi day) and see what the 'feel' is of the local ranger - you never know, as long as it isnt a Dotterel nesting area or other sensitive site nearby it may be ok, the west coast is a vast area.

    I often fly along the coast in many parts of NZ, without too many problems - there are a few well known no-go areas which any local can tell you about - eg Dotterel colonies... Omapere is a coastal tourist orientated town, I don't see too much there that the local council will get upset about - I will phone them on Tuesday...

    (For others reading, DOC is the New Zealand Department of Conservation which controls many protected areas... Aircraft activities: Running your business or activity half way down page is reference for 'drones')...
     
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