Drones and remotely piloted aircraft

The use of lightweight drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), is allowed in most parks and reserves managed by the Council, but there are some important rules and guidelines to follow.

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Before you fly, check the rules

Most of Christchurch City is located within Civil Aviation Authority controlled airspace.

All RPAS operators must be aware of, and comply with, Civil Aviation Rules at all times.

To provide for safe and legal operations, RPAS operators are referred to the following sources of information: 

Permission to fly over Council property

You must have Christchurch City Council's permission to fly:

  • Over Council permission-required areas (see map below).
  • Over Council roads or buildings.
  • An RPAS that weighs more than 1.5 kilograms (over any Council property).

For Council properties that are not "permission required", you can fly a lightweight drone (1.5 kilograms max) without asking the Council's permission. 

Permission-required areas

All RPAS flights, regardless of weight, must always have permission from the Council for the following areas:

  • Heritage and garden parks(external link), and cemeteries.
  • Within 10 metres of an open-air public pool or playground, or the boundary of any park.
  • The Council's legal road corridor on the coast – Scarborough Boat Ramp to Godley Head, and on Banks Peninsula.
  • Over Council property at Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere), Birdlings Flat, Brooklands Lagoon, Travis Wetland, Charlesworth Reserve, McCormack's Bay, South Shore Spit, Bromley Oxidation ponds, Bexley Wetland, Ferrymead Wetland and Linwood Paddock.
  • Council roads

    The Council may consent to RPAS flights over Council roads once you provide:

    • CAA Part 102 certification.
    • Evidence of public liability insurance cover and aviation insurance covering the use of the RPAS.
    • A flight plan, including a hazard and/or traffic management plan.

  • Council buildings
    The Council may consent to RPAS flights over Council buildings once you provide:

    • CAA Part 102 certification.
    • Evidence of adequate safety assessments and controls.
    • A flight plan, including a hazard and/or traffic management plan.
Map Listing

Complaints about RPAS and RPAS operators

If there is an urgent risk to public safety, contact the police.

If a drone flies above your property without permission or you feel your privacy has been breached, you can make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner or the Civil Aviation Authority.

Any breaches of civil aviation rules must be referred to the Civil Aviation Authority.

This is a test policy and will be reviewed by mid-2018. To develop the best policy, the Council would appreciate hearing your feedback. Please contact us by calling 03 941 8999.