Drone no-fly zones refers to controlled or special use airspace.

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, danger areas, and low flying zones.

Airspace can be temporarily designated “Special Use” to help a police, military, or search and rescue operation. On the other hand, some areas are designated specifically for model aircraft flying.

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

You don’t need authorisation from air traffic control if you can fly your drone using a shielded operation.

AirShare – my flights(external link)(external link) 

AirShare – airspace map for drone pilots(external link)

What is a shielded operation?

Learn more about the rules - Intro to Part 101 rules for unmanned aircraft


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