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Use of drones

9 April 2018

AUTHOR:Kevin Birch

Drones have been in the press again lately, with operators flying contrary to the Civil Aviation rules, and creating havoc for commercial airliners. The rules are very clear, and unless you have achieved certification to fly outside the basic rules, then you must comply. Some of the essential requirements are: No higher than 120 metres, Maintain visual line of sight of the drone, No night flying, No closer than 4 km from an aerodrome. Have consent from persons or property owners who you want to fly above. Minimize hazards to persons and property. There are many reported instances of operators flying drones in contravention of these rules, and creating hazards and/or breaching privacy provisions.

With the increasing use of drones and other UAVs for both commercial and recreational purposes, noncompliance of these basic rules will put persons and property at risk of serious harm, and likely lead to more stringent controls and greater penalties.

In my next article I will discuss some of uses that we are making of drones and the related software, which is creating significant time and cost savings, as well as improving the information  and data we have available to undertake resource consents and property surveys.