RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicles), commonly referred to as UAV’s, Drones, and Scale Model Aircraft are required to operate in accordance with certain rules and regulations, particularly when operating within the vicinity of aerodromes such as North Shore Airport.

These rules are in place to ensure the safety of manned aircraft operations, and to keep your RPAS equipment safe as well.  Depending on the type of RPAS operation the rules you are required to abide by do differ.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rule parts that RPAS operate under are Civil Aviation Rule (CAR) Parts 101 and 102.  RPAS under 25kg, operating for either recreational (and sometimes commercial purposes too) fall under CAR Part 101.  There are 12 key things that are required under Part 101 – you must:

  • not operate an aircraft that is 25 kg or larger and always ensure that it is safe to operate;
  • at all times take all practicable steps to minimize hazards to persons, property and other aircraft (ie, don’t do anything hazardous);
  • fly only in daylight;
  • give way to all crewed aircraft;
  • be able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (eg, not through binoculars, a monitor, or smartphone) to ensure separation from other aircraft (or use an observer to do this in certain cases);
  • not fly your aircraft higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level (unless certain conditions are met);
  • have knowledge of airspace restrictions that apply in the area you want to operate;
  • not fly closer than four kilometres from any aerodrome (unless certain conditions are met);
  • when flying in controlled airspace, obtain an air traffic control clearance issued by Airways;
  • not fly in special use airspace without the permission of the administering authority of the area (eg, military operating areas or restricted areas);
  • have consent from anyone you want to fly above; and
  • have the consent of the property owner or person in charge of the area you are wanting to fly above.

CAR Part 102 relates to certificated RPAS operations, and for pilots operating RPAS equipment for commercial purposes within 4km of North Shore Airport, it is important that your operation is conducted in a safe manner and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure the safety of manned aircraft.  In order to mitigate the risks, it’s vital that you get in touch with us so that the appropriate procedures can be put in place.

These procedures will almost always include, but are not necessarily limited to having a spotter (or multiple spotters if required), maintaining a listening watch on the aerodrome frequency (using an air band radio), and letting us know when your mission is commencing and once it’s completed.  Further limitations may be put in place depending where and when your mission is proposed.  Generally speaking, the lower and further away from the airport your operation is conducted, the less risk it poses to manned aircraft activities at the airport, but at all times RPAS must give way to manned aircraft.

If you plan to fly within 4km of North Shore Airport please click on the link to Register a Proposed RPAS Operation which will notify us of your intentions – your intended mission should be registered with at least 2 full business days notice.  We will then get in touch with you to discuss your mission.

North Shore Airport RPAS restricted areas

More detailed information about RPAS operations including a full breakdown of the rules, airspace restrictions and useful tools can be found via the CAA website:


To register a proposed RPAS operation within 4km of North Shore Airport, please complete the online form below. We also ask that you register your flight with Flight Adviser https://flightadvisornz.io/. This free platform is an online tool aimed at helping reduce the risk of collisions within the low-level environment. When a flight is registered within a 4km radius of North Shore Airport, Flight Advisor notifies us, and the ability to visualize the operating location on a map is particularly useful when considering proposed flights.

PLEASE NOTE for flights registered via Airshare, North Shore Airport is not notified. If you plan to fly within a 4km radius of North Shore Airport, it is important you register your flight with us via the form below, in addition to registering the flight with Flight Advisor if possible.

Register a proposed RPAS operation at North Shore Airport