There are airspace restrictions operating during the 36th America’s Cup(external link) event in Auckland, from 17 December 2020 to March 2021. Drone users and pilots need to be aware of the restrictions to ensure aviation safety, and that of the public, boats on the water and other aircraft.
Of the five possible race courses, three will be chosen each day by the regatta director. The America’s Cup racing management will communicate each day's selection. Pilots can subscribe(external link) to receive NOTAMs for daily information during the America’s Cup.
The America’s Cup village is also a no-fly zone at any time.
The CAA's key safety message for aviation is: “Do not fly your drone or aircraft over the water on race days.”
The official broadcaster has granted access to restricted airspace for some helicopters and drones which will be the only aircraft permitted to film during the races. You may see them flying on race days in the restricted airspace area.
Emergency aircraft will also be able to operate in the restricted airspace, with permission from the America’s Cup airspace manager.
Research commissioned by the CAA found that a quarter of drone users are unfamiliar with the Civil Aviation Rules.
Considering there will be up to 50,000 spectators per day and myriad yachts and boats, the CAA is urging drone users and aircraft to take special care on race days. Drone users should register(external link) any drone flights outside restricted airspace on the Airshare app.
The CAA will be teaming up with NZ Police to enforce compliance with Civil Aviation Rules. Any breach of those rules by drone users may incur a fine.
If in doubt, don’t fly.