NEW CIVIL AVIATION RULES FOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT

JULY 2015 | by Civil Aviation Authority

New Civil Aviation Rules for unmanned aircraft coming into force next week will improve aviation safety for operators, other airspace users and people and property.

Civil Aviation Rule Part 102 - Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certification will come into force on August 1. It will enable those who want to operate outside the existing rules for unmanned aircraft to do so if they have in place a plan to manage the safety risks.

"This new rule part gives operators greater freedom while maintaining the highest standards of aviation safety," says CAA GM of General Aviation, Steve Moore. Changes to the existing rules for unmanned aircraft also come into force at this time.

"These changes address the safety risks that modern unmanned aircraft pose to other airspace users as well as people and property on the ground," he says.

A key update to Rule Part 101, which was designed to regulate traditional model aircraft, is the requirement for operators who want to fly over people or property to gain consent from the affected individuals or property owners before they fly.

"Having a conversation with a property owner beforehand is an effective means of risk management because they are likely to have the best knowledge of the risks."

Operators who intend to fly over public spaces will also need to get permission from the land owner. For example, if an operator wants to fly over a park, they will need to get permission from the local council.

"We are encouraging public land owners to be proactive. This could involve erecting signs indicating if unmanned aircraft flights are allowed or not at the park entrance."

Those who cannot get consent from a landowner or individuals can still operate if they get an operating certificate from the CAA under Rule Part 102.

"These changes strike a balance between safety and enabling operations," he says.

The changes are part of the CAA's interim approach to regulating unmanned aircraft.

The CAA encourages all unmanned aircraft operators to become familiar with Civil Aviation Rules. Visit www.airshare.co.nz or www.caa.govt.nz/rpas/index.html for more information.

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