I fly my drone all over the place, in cities and in rural areas, here in New Zealand and around the world.
With new drone laws coming into effect on the 1st of August, what does this mean for drone operators in New Zealand? I’ve just spoken with CAA and heres what they’ve told me;
The new laws are all about safety, not privacy. It’s not the CAA’s job to look after the privacy of our fine country, that is the job of the good men and women in our police force.
The new laws are focused protecting people from drones that are falling out of the sky. If your drone has technical issues, like all machinery can have, it may fall from the air in a pretty dangerous fashion.
As usual, if you’re flying within controlled airspace, contact air traffic control and get clearance. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re within controlled airspace, check the AirShare website, it’s really helpful.
WORKING WITH THE NEW DRONE LAWS
It’s going to be easy to work with the CAA and keep our sky safe. All that needs to happen now is that operators will need to notify residents that there may be a drone flying above their house on a certain date at a certain time. Easy.
I’ve spoken to the CAA’s internal lawyer and he’s told me all we need to do is a flier drop a few days before hand with flight details and contact details, plus a door knock before the flight. Easy. Communication is key, keeping residents informed is easy and will solve lots of potential problems.
PRIVACY WORRIES ABOUT DRONES IN NEW ZEALAND
The media has given drones a bad name. The US Army has given drones a bad name. Now quite often a resident will see a drone flying in their neighbourhood and assume the very worst. It’s a shame.
To cover myself I record the entire flight. The software in my iPad records the flight path and my camera records what I am actually looking at. Then, when I land, I can prove that I haven’t been spying on people or property. Easy.
COMPLAINTS ABOUT DRONES
If you have a complaint or concern about drone usage, you can contact the CAA with their details below;
Civil Aviation Authority
Tel: +64 4 560 9400
Fax: +64 4 569 2024
Level 15, Asteron Centre
55 Featherston Street
Wellington 6011 PO Box 3555