20 December 2016

What you should know if you get a drone for Christmas

Drones are shaping up to be one of the hottest gifts this Christmas.

However, for those lucky enough to find one under the tree on Sunday it’s important to swot up on the rules before rushing outside to launch it skyward.

Gore District Parks and Recreation Manager Ian Soper said drones are a lot of fun but they are not a toy. Most people would be unaware that Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules apply to the use of all drones, he said.

Mr Soper urged new drone owners to check out Airshare, New Zealand’s hub for drone use where people can familiarise themselves with the CAA rules, learn how to operate their drone safely and much more.

Airshare is run by Airways New Zealand, the authority responsible for managing the more than 1 million traffic movements a year into and around New Zealand's 30 million square kilometres of airspace.

The Council also has local rules around flying drones, or remotely piloted aircraft systems as they are officially known, in public spaces.

“We realise our parks are the perfect location for some low level flying so have identified areas where people can fly a drone without needing a permit.

“However, the drones are not allowed to be flown over playgrounds or near other park users.”

The reserves where drones can be flown are Hamilton Park, Newman Park, Woolwich Street Walnut Plantation, Greenvale Domain, McKelvie Heights playground, Tulloch Park, Pukerau Recreation Reserve and the Waikaka Domain.

“If people want to fly their drone over any other reserve, such as the Gore gardens, they will need to get permission from the Council.”

People also need to be aware they cannot fly a drone over the road reserve or private property – “that means you can hover around your own backyard but not into your neighbour’s yard”, Mr Soper said.

For more information go to Drone Flying in the Gore District.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: