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Safe skies around our airport

Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are now commonly used for both recreational and commercial purposes. At Christchurch Airport, we recognise that drones can provide commercial and recreational benefit however, our key message is that drones and airports don’t mix.

Drones and UAVs can be a hazard to other aircraft, people and property – it’s therefore important to know the rules before you fly.

The rules and assistance

Did you know that a drone or UAV is an aircraft? The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the regulatory body which sets out the rules for drone use.

Drone operators must follow the rules for drone use and are responsible for ensuring the safety of their operations and the surrounding airspace. Christchurch Airport strongly encourages all drone operators to follow these Civil Aviation Rules.

We want to ensure the safety of people and planes at our airport. It’s dangerous to fly drones anywhere other aircraft are operating. The CAA rules state that drones and UAVs must stay four kilometres away from anywhere aircraft are landing or taking off (this radius around the airport requires specific permission to operate).

If the CAA rules are not followed, the New Zealand Police will contact the operator and they could face prosecution.

To view a map of the no-fly zones, or to apply for approval to fly your drone within controlled airspace, please visit Airshare. This is a user-friendly website where you’ll find all the information you need to operate your drone safely, plan your drone flights and request access to controlled air space.

If you still have any questions about how to fly your drone safely and legally in New Zealand, please email

Reporting unsafe flying

Where a drone presents imminent danger, please call 111 and ask for the Police.

To report a rule breach, contact the CAA:

Please note you will need to provide the time and location of the incident, and any other details about the person flying the drone.