Remotely Piloted Aircraft Policy


1.0    Purpose

This policy defines how approvals will be granted for remotely piloted aircraft flying over Timaru District Council controlled land.

2.0    Background

Rules for the flying of remotely piloted aircraft have been produced by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand and signed into law by the Minister of Transport.  These rules are effective from 1 August 2015.

This is significant in requiring a person operating a remotely piloted aircraft to gain consent from persons occupying or owning a property over which remotely piloted aircraft are flow.

There are also restrictions on flying above people, mass of these aircraft, height of flying and proximity to aerodromes.  They also can only be flown on visual line of sight in daylight.

3.0    Key Definitions

Aerodrome means an aerodrome that is promulgated in the Aeronautical Information Publication New Zealand.

Remotely Piloted Aircraft means an unmanned aircraft that is piloted from a remote station and:

  1. includes a radio controlled model aircraft, but
  2. does not include a control line model aircraft or a free flight model aircraft.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Drones - refer to remotely piloted aircraft.

4.0    Policy

As a requirement of Civil Aviation Rules Part 101, Timaru District Council will grant consent for the flying of remotely piloted aircraft above property owned or occupied by Council as described below:

a)  A consent is granted, without the need for individual application, in the following circumstances: 

(i) The flying is within Geraldine Domain, Temuka Domain, Pleasant Point Domain, Sir Basil Arthur Park, Marchwiel Park, Ashbury Park, Aorangi Park, Centennial Park, Anzac Square, Caroline Bay, Caledonian Grounds, West End Park, Timaru Botanic Gardens and members of the South Canterbury Model Aeroclub may use their Redruth Airfield.

(ii) Where the park borders a private residence, flying may not occur closer than ten metres to that boundary;

(iii) The flying is carried out in a careful and considerate manner; and

(iv) Public events and sport will take priority over flying remotely piloted aircraft

b)  For other Council controlled land consent may be granted to fly for a specific purpose and timeframe where the application is received in advance during normal working hours.  This consent approval is delegated to the Unit Manager responsible for controlling that land.

c) Where Council consent is granted in a) or b) the person (or persons) operating the remotely piloted aircraft is/are not exempt from other aspects of the Civil Aviation Rules.  This includes but is not limited to the need to obtain consent from any people in the area, restrictions on mass (weight) of the aircraft, the need to operate at least 4 kilometres from an aerodrome, the need to fly below the maximum specified height, fly within unobstructed line of sight and in daylight.


Civil Aviation Rules Part 101

Aeronautical Information Publication New Zealand

Adopted by Policy and Development Committee 20 September 2016

Last updated: 29 Aug 2022