Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in your flight test?

Too much to write in a sentence or two just here, so head on over to our Flight Testing Resources page. That page has a list of the manoeuvres contained in the test, and you can even download a copy of our flight test guide from that page.

I have a UAS Pilot Certificate (Part 102 Operations). Does that mean I have a Part 102 certificate?

No, you hold the pilot qualification that enables you to fly for an organisation that holds a Part 102 certificate. To obtain a Part 102 certificate you must submit an application to CAA that details how you will operate.

(Note: to reduce this confusion we have renamed this qualification to the Advanced UAS Remote Pilot Certificate.)

I have a UAS Pilot Certificate (Part 102 Operations). Does that mean I can fly over property without permission?

No. Until you are operating under the authority of a Part 102 certificate issued by CAA then you must continue to fly under the Part 101 rules. If you are operating under the authority of a Part 102 certificate issued by CAA then you must comply with the procedures approved by CAA.

I am the operator of an uncontrolled aerodrome. When do drone pilots need my agreement?

They need your agreement if they are operating under the Part 101 rules within 4km of the aerodrome boundary, and they are not shielded and do not have a physical barrier between the drone and the aerodrome.

What is the difference between a shield and a barrier?

1. The drone must be within 100m of, and below the top of, a shield. The shield provides protection to the drone from manned aircraft.
2. The barrier is between the drone and an aerodrome and will physically stop the drone from flying to the aerodrome.

I have done your pilot course. Does that allow me to start drone spraying?

No. As a pilot you are required to have:

  • an appropriate pilot qualification (our Advanced UAS Pilot Certificate);
  • a Chemical Rating;
  • passed a flight test on the drone you will use for spraying; and
  • a UAV Agricultural Rating.

You must also be operating under a Part 102 certificate that includes the privilege for UAV aerial spraying.

For more information see our Agrichemical page.

Can I fly over crowds at a concert?

If you are operating under Part 101 you can only do this if you have direct consent from everyone you fly over. A disclaimer in the conditions for a ticket is not enough.

If you are doing this for commercial purposes then you will also have to consider the application of the Health and Safety at Work Act (2015), and particularly that the health and safety of persons other than your workers is not put at risk.

I have a Part 102 certificate and have brought a new drone. Can I start using the drone straight away?

No. The drone cannot be used for operations under the Part 102 certificate until it is listed on the Operations Specifications issued by CAA. This requires an amendment application to CAA.

I have a Model Flying NZ (MFNZ) Wings Badge. Can I use that for flying under Part 102?

No you can’t. Model Flying NZ advises that their qualification is suitable for recreational use only. Flight under a Part 102 certificate requires completion of our Advanced UAS Pilot Certificate, previously known as our UAS Pilot Certificate(Part 102 Operations).

I have a Part 61 licence (PPL/CPL/ATPL). Do I need anything else for flying under Part 102?

Yes you do. You can only fly under a Part 102 certificate if you successfully pass an Operational Competency Assessment. That requires that you have a robust knowledge of Part 101, the procedures in the Part 102 exposition you will be operating under, and can competently fly in ATTI mode.

What is ATTI mode?

ATTI mode is a flight mode without positioning assistance. Both GPS and optical positioning must be turned off. We part of our flight tests in this mode to ensure that you can competently handle your drone if GPS fails in flight.

When do I need to file an Airshare request?

Airshare only provides Air Traffic Control clearance to fly in controlled airspace. Use the following flow chart to determine whether you need to file an Airshare request:

What does CTR mean in the flow chart above?

You need to do one of our courses! See the schedule of upcoming courses in the training section of this website.

How can I fly over State Highways / NZTA roads?

NZTA is responsible for the State Highways, which have high volumes of traffic, high speeds, or both. This means that drones pose extra risks when flying over or above State Highways. NZTA’s drone policy specifies that Part 102 certification from CAA is a pre-requisite for obtaining their permission, but Part 102 alone is not enough – depending on the circumstances you may need a traffic management plan, and you still require NZTA permission.

For further information about NZTA’s requirements see the State Highway Control Manual, or click here for further information about Part 102 Certification.

Can I do Building Washing under Part 101?

Unfortunately, you generally will not be able to undertake building washing under Part 101. Chemicals are regulated by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA has defined agrichemicals as including fungicides and adjuvants, which are both common components of common building washing solutions. If you are applying any of these chemicals, then the Hazardous Properties Controls Notice 2017 will in most cases require that you have Part 102 certification.