Before going outside and flying a drone, it is essential to know the rules and regulations that have been put in place. Every country has different laws regarding when, and where, a drone can be flown. There are several general rules for doing this activity within New Zealand.
If you want to fly a drone, it needs to weigh 25kg or less. If it exceeds this weight, then it is illegal to fly. All drone pilots must make sure that the vehicles they fly are safe before they consider operating them.
Drone pilots have a responsibility to the public. As such, they must ensure that they minimise any potential hazards. This goes for people, property (both personal and private), as well as other aircraft. Pilots should refrain from flying recklessly.
Drones are not permitted to be flown at night. If they encounter an aircraft with a staffed crew, then the drone is required to give way. Pilots need to be able to see the drone that is being flown at all times. There must be a clear line of vision while the drone is in the air.
The drone is not permitted to fly more than 120 metres high. Every airspace area has different, and specific, restrictions. It is undoubtedly the responsibility of the pilot to know the rules, in the area that they will be flying.
Drones are strictly prohibited from flying within 2.5 miles of aerodromes for safety reasons. If a pilot wishes to fly a drone in controlled airspace, then they need to gain clearance. This can be given by an air traffic control authority such as Airways.
If the drone flies over a specific person or property, then express permission must first be granted. This is especially the case when operating in restricted areas. This can include airports or military bases.