Airspace can be designated as controlled or special use airspace.

Controlled airspace is where there is a need for an air traffic control service to be provided for the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations. Special use airspace includes restricted areas, military operating areas, mandatory broadcast zones, volcanic hazard zones, danger areas, and low flying zones.

To fly an unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace, you must have prior authorisation from air traffic control. You can request this authorisation through AirShare.

AirShare - my flights tool(external link).

You don’t need authorisation from air traffic control if you can conduct your flight as a shielded operation 

Information about shielded operations.

Visual Navigation Charts

Maps showing the boundaries of controlled and other special use airspace, called Visual Navigation Charts (VNC), are available for purchase from the Aeronautical Information Shop. You can view these electronically on the AirShare website.

Aeronautical information shop(external link)

AirShare(external link)

 Ask us about unmanned aircraft

If you have any questions about this topic, use our contact form, or email rpas@caa.govt.nz