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Flying a Drone in the Wairoa District

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates civil aviation in New Zealand and sets the rules around the use of unmanned aircraft, such as drones and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). There are also some Wairoa District Council policies and bylaws you have to follow if you want to fly a drone in our District.

Flying drones and other unmanned aircraft

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates civil aviation in New Zealand and sets the rules around the use of unmanned aircraft, such as drones and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

The CAA drone rules (Part 101) include the requirement for operators to obtain approval from the land owner or occupier of the land you want to fly over.

Other requirements from the CAA and Air Traffic Control define where and how you can fly unmanned aircraft, and what permissions you need to get before doing so.

It’s your responsibility and obligation to comply with all CAA rules and the Privacy Act.

Landowner/Occupier permission

Private Land

The CAA rules require people to obtain approval from the landowner or the occupier of the land you want to fly over.

Council-owned property

Provided operators comply with and follow the CAA Part 101 rules, you have Wairoa District Council’s permission to fly over Council-owned property.

In order to fly over council owned property, you will have to comply with the Use of Drones on Council property policy (below). You will also have to be aware of the rules under the Public Safety Bylaw (below) as you will be infringed if you are caught flying in non-permitted areas without a permit.

You must also comply with the Privacy and CCTV guide on preserving people’s personal privacy by not flying over people using Council-owned land or adjoining private property without their consent.

You are required to maintain ‘visual line of sight’ with the device and you must obey all other CAA Part 101 rules, such as:

  • not do anything hazardous to persons, property and other aircraft,
  • fly only in daylight,
  • not fly your aircraft higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level,
  • not fly closer than 4km from any aerodrome unless you have clearance from the aerodrome operator, have an observer with you and have a pilot qualification or you are flying shielded with a barrier.
    (See the Airshare map showing the 4km radius around both Wairoa aerodrome and the Wairoa Hospital and the area around Rocket Lab’s operations at the Mahia peninsula.)
  • when flying in controlled airspace, obtain an air traffic control clearance by logging an Airshare or fly shielded. (See the controlled airspace on the Airshare map.)
  • have consent from anyone you want to fly above.
  • Under the Public Safety Bylaw if you are caught flying in non-permitted areas without a permit you will be infringed.

Council local roads (excludes state highways)

CAA and other rules and conditions will apply, as above. If there are cars or pedestrians around you need their permission too. If you wish to fly over the road corridor then you will need to complete a Corridor Access Request.

For state highways, refer to Waka Kotahi NZTA.

Privacy Act

You need to comply with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner guidance on preserving peoples’ personal privacy by not flying over other people using public parks or over adjoining private property without their consent.

Note that the Privacy Commissioner’s CCTV guidelines apply to how someone might use drones fitted with cameras and comply with the Privacy Act.

Complaints about drones

If a drone flies above your property without your permission and you feel it’s in breach of your privacy – contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

Report a drone safety concern to the CAA.

If there's an urgent risk to public safety, contact the police.

Useful links

CAA Part 101 rules

Airshare and/or Airshare Map

Shielded operations

WDC Drone policy and Public safety bylaw (below)

Drone exclusion areas in the Wairoa District

Visit the map on the Airshare website for more information on exclusion areas in the Wairoa District. Exclusion areas are in place around the Wairoa aerodrome, Wairoa Hopsital and Rocket Lab in Mahia.

Airshare Map

Contact

For more information please contact the Wairoa District Council.

+64 6 838 7309
info@wairoadc.govt.nz

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