Basic overview of rules for flying your DJI Phantom in New Zealand - Taken from

Pilotless Aircraft Under 25 kg (Part 101)

A model aircraft means a pilotless aircraft with a gross mass between 100 g and 25 kg.


All operators of these aircraft must realise that there are rules around their operation, and these are detailed in  Part 101. See the Definitions at the beginning, and then  Subpart E.


Here are some of the condiitions around the operation of model aircraft (refer to Part 101 for the actual rules):


  • These aircraft may not be operated in restricted and military operating areas unless the person responsible for the model aircraft has approval to do so from the administering authority. A person shall not operate a model aircraft in a Low Flying Zone.
  • Each person operating a model aircraft shall ensure it gives way to, and remains clear of, all manned aircraft on the ground and in flight.
  • For a model aircraft to operate in controlled airspace, authorisation is required from the Air Traffic Control unit responsible for that airspace.
  • A person shall not operate a model aircraft in a manner that creates a hazard to aircraft or to persons or property. This includes not allowing any object to be dropped in flight if such action creates a hazard.
  • There are limitations for model aircraft operating within 4 km of an uncontrolled aerodrome, which include that the operation is undertaken in accordance with an agreement with the aerodrome operator. Generally, operations are not permitted above 400 ft in any airspace unless special requirements are met as detailed in Part 101, Subpart E.
  • Operations must not be conducted in any area where the ground visibility is less than 3 km or in any area where the cloud base is at a level where the model aircraft is unable to be operated in sight of the operator and beneath the cloud base at all times.
  • Operations are not permitted at night unless indoors or as a 'shielded operation', which means within 100 m of a structure and below the top of the structure.
  • A radio controlled model aircraft with a gross mass of between 15 kg and 25 kg may only be operated if it is constructed and operated under the authority of a model aircraft association approved by the Director. At present Model Flying New Zealand is the only approved association.