On 01 August 2015 new drone laws came into effect
In the near future we can expect to see hobby drones, courier UAVs, and GPS controlled research drones for everything from farming to surveying, and remote tourism.
We can also expect the consumer drone market to grow quickly as people realise the possibilities for home videos, task automation, and just generally flying around with a superman style view of the world.
As the owner of a Drone, Quadcopter or any other small radio controlled aircraft, there are currently certain laws you must follow.
The rules are there to protect crewed aircraft and were originally designed for RC aircraft which is the category that any drone under 25KGs currently falls into.
Here are the current laws for drones in New Zealand according to the CAA.
- The operator needs to be able to see the aircraft with their own eyes (eg, not through binoculars, a monitor, or smartphone).
- The aircraft can be flown only in daylight.
- Give way to all crewed aircraft.
- You cannot fly your aircraft higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level.
- You cannot fly closer than four kilometres from any aerodrome.
In the future we may see things change. The CAA are currently reviewing these laws.