Unmanned aircraft are very popular for recreational and business use. They can be a hazard to people, property and other aircraft so it’s important to know the rules before you fly.

The rules

You don’t need a license to fly unmanned aircraft but you do need to follow the Civil Aviation rules.

Everybody flying an unmanned aircraft must comply with the rules in Part 101.

Intro to Part 101.

The only way you can operate your aircraft outside of the Part 101 rules is if you have been granted a variation to them by us. To be able to fly outside of these rules, or fly an unmanned aircraft over 25kgs, you must become certificated under Part 102.

Intro to Part 102.


You don’t have to do a training course to fly unmanned aircraft but it’s recommended. These organisations are certified to provide training.

Model Flying New Zealand(external link) (Part 101)

RPA Skills, Ryan Groves(external link) (Part 101)

Aviation Safety Management Systems Ltd(external link) (ASMS) (Parts 101 and 102)

Flight Test New Zealand(external link) (Parts 101 and 102)

Fly UAV(external link) (Parts 101 and 102)

Massey University(external link) (Parts 101 and 102)

Drone Training New Zealand(external link) (Parts 101 and 102)


We do not investigate breaches of the Privacy Act. If you think your privacy has been breached by the operator of an unmanned aircraft, please contact the New Zealand Police.

Drone operators should be familiar with privacy implications resulting from misuse of drones. They should always respect people's privacy and stay a considerate distance away from people and private property. The rules require them to have prior consent of the landowner/occupier to fly over any property. They should also ask for consent before filming or taking photographs of people in places where there is an expectation of privacy.

More information

Airspace for unmanned aircraft

Advisory circulars

Report dangerous drone activity

Part 101 and 102 forms

List of Part 102 unmanned aircraft operators

RPAS frequencies

External links

airshare™(external link)

UAVNZ(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