Published date: 3 January 2019

Media release

The Civil Aviation Authority will investigate the two reported incidents that occurred in Auckland on New Year’s Eve.

“The rules around drones are there to keep people safe, whether they’re in the air or on the ground, says John Kay, Acting Director of Civil Aviation.

“Any person who flies a drone and deliberately ignoresthe rules creates unacceptable safety risks. The incidents reported to have occurred on New Year’s Eve highlight the safety risks and potentially catastrophic consequences that could have occurred – and those consequences are simply unacceptable.

“We are investigating the incidents reported, and we will take appropriate action.

“Drones are fun devices if operated safely. They are also aircraft – not simply toys or cool gadgets. Anyone intending to fly a drone must know the Civil Aviation Rules and then fly it safely.”

There are five simple things any person flying a drone needs to do:

  • Keep the drone in sight and fly it lower than 120m or 400ft
  • Only fly it over people or property with permission
  • Stay at least 4kms away from airports and helipads
  • Stay away from other aircraft
  • Be considerate of others

“Educating people about how to fly their drones safely and raising awareness of the rules is a key focus for the Authority.”

The CAA has recently created a website,, which explains simply the rules around drones and offers helpful tips and advice. “We encourage people flying drones to join our Civil Aviation Authority NZ Facebook page which has helpful tips and information.”