Consider others. Be responsible.

Rules for drones

Download brochure: Share the skies [PDF 565 KB]

Rule 1: Fly no higher than 120m (400 ft) above the ground

This keeps your drone below the height of other aircraft.

Rule 2: Stay a safe and considerate distance away from people and buildings

Don’t fly over people unless you have their permission.

Rule 3: Don't fly over property, such as farms, houses or parks, unless the owner or council says it's OK

Check with the local council or the Department of Conservation before flying in public areas such as parks, beaches and reserves.

Rule 4: Keep your drone in sight at all times

Fly only in daylight and when the visibility is good – stay clear of fog and cloud.

Rule 5: Stay 4 km away from anywhere aircraft are landing or taking off

This includes helipads at hospitals and those used by sightseeing aircraft. Be aware that controlled airspace around airports extends well beyond the 4 km limit – you must have clearance from air traffic control to operate in that area. Don’t fly in special use airspace, such as Low Flying Zones, danger, restricted or Military Operating Areas.

Rule 6: It’s dangerous to fly drones anywhere other aircraft are operating

If you see another aircraft, stay well clear of it and land immediately.

While these six rules are of the utmost importance, they are not the only rules. For all drones rules, see Part 101 - Rules for drones.

Know the no-fly zones

There are certain areas where drones must never be flown, and other areas where there are strict conditions.

Drone no-fly zones

To see a map of these no-fly zones, or to apply for a clearance to fly your drone within controlled airspace, visit the AirShare website: link)

Preflight checklist

Like any pilot, you need to do a preflight check.


Check the tech

Make sure the battery is fully charged and all drone components are secure and undamaged.


Scan the land

Your flying area must be clear of people, animals, or anything that might cause problems, such as powerlines. Get permission if you plan to fly over people or private property, or stay well away.


Eyes on the drone

You must always be able to see your drone. Fly it no higher than 120 m (400 ft) above ground level, and only in daylight, avoiding cloud or fog.


Check for no-fly zones

There are many areas you can’t fly a drone, such as zones that extend around airports. Know where you’re allowed to fly, and where you need to ask for clearance first.


Be ready to land

If you see another aircraft, or an emergency situation unfolding, immediately land your drone.


Get some training to help you better understand how to fly within the group of Civil Aviation Rules known as Part 101.

If you can’t fly your drone according to these rules, you must get an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certificate under Part 102.

Training to fly drones - approved training organisations