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New Zealand aviation authority: There are rules for drones

Staff Writer |
The Civil Aviation Authority wants every drone sold in New Zealand to be accompanied by a leaflet or a sticker on the box, reminding people of the rules around their use.

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Authority deputy director of general aviation Steve Moore said it was an audacious target but many people were unaware of the restrictions, Radio NZ reported.

"A lot of people that are using drones... don't have an aviation background and so just simply don't realise there are rules that they have to abide by to keep everyone safe," he said.

The rules were designed to keep the drone and its operator away from other aircraft and people, Mr Moore said.

It is forbidden to fly a drone within a controlled airspace without clearance from local air traffic control, or within 4km of an airport or a heliport without the approval of the airport operator.

There are 14 centres around New Zealand that have a controlled airspace.

But recreational users are covered by what's called a "shielded operation".

"If someone lives close to an airport and they have a drone, if they fly it in their backyard and keep it below the level of the house or below the level of trees, they don't need any clearances - they can do that without any further references to anybody," Mr Moore said.

Despite their popularity, this year there had only been a handful of near misses.

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