Airports around the country including Timaru Airport are urging locals and visitors who operate drones to know the rules and act responsibly this summer.
“If you use a drone you become a pilot and have responsibilities,” says the chief executive of the association for New Zealand’s airports (NZ Airports), Kevin Ward.
He supports the advice that the Civil Aviation Authority puts out each Christmas urging people, particularly new drone owners, to make sure they know the rules so they don’t put people and property at risk.
“There are an increasing number of incidents involving drones being flown too close to airports and other aircraft. It is a concern for airports, especially small ones that do not have a full time manager on site and air traffic control towers.
“Drones are an aircraft and operators are regarded as pilots. You must follow New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority Rules when you operate a drone near any airport – large or small,” he says.
Airport Manager Ashley Harper says drones aren't allowed to fly within 4kms of Timaru Airport. There may also be controlled or special use airspace which extends beyond the 4km limit.
“To learn about flying your drone the right way in New Zealand, operators should check out www.flyyourdrone.nz or contact the airport directly if they need some local advice,” says Harper.