Published date: 2 November 2020

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has lifted the airspace restrictions on flying near or over Whakaari/White Island.

The restrictions were put in place following the eruption of the volcano on 9 December 2019, which led to the deaths of 21 people.

Sean Rogers, manager of aeronautical services says while the restrictions were lifted at the end of October, all other Civil Aviation Rules must continue to be followed, particularly those rules for flying in the vicinity of a volcanic hazard zone.

“The rules include, pilots not operating aircraft within a volcanic hazard zone during the night, or in bad weather,” he said.

While most commercial air operators are aware of the rules, the CAA will be visiting companies over the next few months who may be interested in conducting scenic flights around Whakaari to ensure they fully understand the requirements and to answer any questions.

The public and professional videographers who may want to film around the island also need to be aware that Civil Aviation Rules also apply if using a drone. Drone users cannot operate over the island unless they have prior consent from the landowner.

“Drones cannot be operated above 400 feet without approval and you cannot lose sight of your drone at any time. Drone users must also give way and remain well clear of all crewed aircraft.”

For more information see Parts 91 and 101 of the Civil Aviation Rules or email if you have further questions.


Contact the CAA media team for further information:
027 763 0000 |