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Command the skies with these CAA guidelines

Did your Christmas day get that much more exciting when you unwrapped a remote control aircraft? To make sure you command the skies safely, the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand has released some guidelines for flying a RPAS, UAV or drone in the land of the long white cloud.

General tips:

You can fly your aircraft:

  • In uncontrolled airspace below 400 feet above ground level
  • During daylight hours
  • Within visual line of sight
  • Clear of all manned aircraft, persons and property
  • Outside of airspace restricted areas
  • Not within 4km of any aerodrome

Top tips:

  • Have a read of the relevant Civil Aviation Rules, especially Part 101 Model aircraft operating rules
  • Never operate your aircraft in a manner that creates a hazard to other aircraft or persons or property
  • Know how to read a Visual Navigation Chart (VNC), which can be purchased online. If you want some help in this area, hit up your local Aero club, certified training instructor, or a friend who is a qualified pilot.
  • Before you fly, check for all relevant airspace restrictions - for instance, controlled airspace, low flying zones, danger areas, restricted areas, and military operational areas
  • Know your responsibilities as pilot in command of an aircraft
  • Know how your aircraft will behave if a failure occurs and have abort procedures in place in case it does happen
  • You can't fly your aircraft close than four kilometres from any areodrome without clearance from Air Traffic Control
  • If you cannot see it, it's not safe to fly. Always remain within line-of-sight of your aircraft - this includes without the help of binoculars

For more information, check out airshare.co.nz.