Drone flight policy

  • CAA rules state airport operator approval is required to operate a drone within 4km of the aerodrome.
  • NZTE Operations Limited (NZTE Operations) is the operator of the Te Kowhai Aerodrome.
  • Drone operators are obliged to adhere to the CAA Rules Parts 101 and/or 102 as applicable.
  • To operate within 4km of an uncontrolled aerodrome (Te Kowhai Airfield) you are required to have an observer in attendance while your drone is in flight.  
  • You must never fly over any active movement area of the aerodrome (e.g. the runway or taxiways).
  • NZTE Operations Limited must evaluate every application and go through a process which can include closing the airfield and issuing NOTAM’s, if considered necessary. Therefore, ALL applications must be submitted at least 4 working days prior to the planned flight.

If you plan to operate a drone within 4km of Te Kowhai Aerodrome you will need to apply for approval. To do this follow the steps below...

For ALL Aircraft using Te Kowhai Airfield (NZTE):

  1. Refer to the map (click to view larger). If your location is within the Red 4km Circle go to step 2.  (If your planned flight location is outside of the 4km circle, approval from NZTE Operations Limited is not required).
  2. Complete the application form (online OR manually fill out the PDF form):

Please note:

You will need to hold (or be supervised by someone who holds) an approved qualification. These include the following:

- A Model Flying New Zealand Wings Badge
- A Pilot Qualification (from an Approved Person or Organisation)
- A Pilot Licence or Certificate issued under Rule Part 61 or Part 149 Under Supervision

  • NZTE Operations requires all flights to be logged in AIRSHARE
  • Operators must advise NZTE Operations if flight is subsequently cancelled
  • Operators must land their UAV/Drone immediately if aircraft are observed in the vicinity
  • VHF is monitoring only
  • Some shielded operations within 4km do not require Aerodrome Approval, however approval should still be sought. NZTE Operations will advise if approval is not required.

RPAS - Remote Piloted Aircraft System
UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
DRONE - unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously

Additional Information:

For a list of approved remotely piloted aircraft instructors, Email CAA on rpas@caa.govt.nz