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This page contains information about requesting permission to fly Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (drones and model aircraft) over Council land.
Updated: 19/10/2017 12:02 p.m.

Rules and guidelines for flying  Drones and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has introduced rules for the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).  The term RPAS includes drones and model aircraft, which are also commonly referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). 

The CAA rules require that any operator of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS must:

  • Obtain the consent from anyone the operator will fly above;
  • Obtain the consent of the property owner or person in charge of the area the operator wishes to fly above.

Operating a Drone / RPAS over Whangarei District Council Property

Any person seeking to operate A Drone/ RPAS over Whangarei District Council property (including parks, playgrounds, sports grounds, reserves, roads and other Council properties) must obtain the permission of Whangarei District Council.  This process is free of charge, quick and simple.

To request permission to operate a drone over Whangarei District Council land, please download the request form.

Operate a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (Drone) request form [63kb]

Email the form and supporting information requirements to Council  and we will endeavour to process your request as soon as practicable.

Please note that further information may be required to enable Council to process your application. 

Email us

An application may be granted or refused by Council and may be subject to any conditions that the Council deem necessary to ensure safety to public, property and wildlife and the prevention of nuisance.  We are unfortunately unable to provide overall blanket authority for Drone/RPAS use and therefore require requests for specific dates only.

Any approval to operate a RPA over WDC land is subject to the Code of Conduct.  This requires the operator’s agreement to not undertake any of the following activities:

Operate a RPA over a sports field if it is in use:

  • Operate a RPA over a playground, parked vehicles or roads.
  • Operate a RPA within 20 metres of or over other users of the public space, unless you hold their prior consent.
  • Operate a RPA within 50 metres of livestock, sensitive wildlife habitats such as wetlands, or nesting or roosting birds.
  • Operate a RPA within 20 metres of or fly over park buildings and overhead wires
  • Operate a RPA over dry flammable vegetation.
  • Operate a RPA over adjoining private properties (unless you hold the prior written agreement of the property owner).
  • Operate a RPA in a Council cemetery.

The Operator of any RPAS shall agree to:

  • Be courteous of other members of the public.
  • Keep the craft in full view at all times. (e.g. not operated through binoculars, video monitor or smartphones, unless an observer is present)
  • Fly in daylight hours only.
  • Cease operation if requested by Council staff (or WDC contractor).

Applicants for permission to fly drones over Council property must be 16 years or over to apply for consent.

Consent can also be applied for by someone who is supervising a younger person operating a Drone, UAV or RPAS. 

Aerodromes and Restricted/ Controlled Airspace in Whangarei

Under CAA rules, drones/ RPAS are restricted from flying within 4km of any aerodrome, aerodrome control zones, Low Flying Zones, Military Operating Areas and Restricted Areas.  It is important that operators familiarise themselves with these areas in Whangarei.

For details of these locations in Whangarei please refer to the maps on the Airshare website.  

Airshare Maps

CAA Rules and Airshare Portal

It is important that RPAS/ Drone operators familiarise themselves with the CAA rules and requirements.  A full copy of the CAA rules can be accessed via the CAA's website.

The information portal 'Airshare' is also a useful resource for RPAS operators. Please consider registering with the Air Share Website.

This information helps CAA keep track of regular and non-regular UAV operators in each area.

Civil Aviation Authority

Airshare portal



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