What can you do as a Certified Part 101 Drone pilot (compared to uncertified)

Lets start with uncertified – what can you do?

Under Part 101 (under AC 101-1)
You must—

(1) not operate an aircraft that is more than 25 kg and always ensure that it is safe to operate; and

(2) at all times, take all practicable steps to minimise hazards to persons, property and other aircraft (i.e. don’t do anything hazardous); and

(3) fly only in daylight; and

(4) give way to all crewed aircraft; and

(5) be able to see the aircraft with your own eyes (e.g., not through binoculars, a monitor, or smartphone), to ensure separation from other aircraft (or use an observer to do this in certain cases); and

(6) not fly your aircraft higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level (unless certain conditions are met); and

(7) have knowledge of airspace restrictions that apply in the area you want to operate; and

(8) not fly closer than four kilometres from any aerodrome (unless certain conditions are met); and

(9) when flying in controlled airspace, obtain an air traffic control clearance issued by Airways Corporation of New Zealand; and

(10) not fly in special-use airspace without the permission of the administering authority of the area (e.g. restricted or  military operating areas); and

(11) have consent from anyone you want to fly above; and

(12) have the consent of the property owner or person in charge of the area you want to fly above.

Then there’s this under Pilot/operator qualification 

Part 101 does not require a pilot qualification unless the flights are going to be conducted on, or within 4 km of an aerodrome.

So that’s the rules around uncertified flying… but if you want to fly within 4kms of an airport, aerodrome, or a heliport you can do it – if you are a certified 101 pilot

Here’s the chapter and verse from CAA

101.205 Aerodromes


This rule outlines requirements relating to flying off an uncontrolled aerodrome, a controlled aerodrome, and within 4 km of an aerodrome.

Information on published aerodromes can be found at AIP New Zealand at this link: http://www.aip.net.nz/(external link).www.airshare.co.nz(external link) also provides useful information.

Any unmanned aircraft flying activity within these areas requires the pilot/operator to either be:

(a) the holder of, or to be supervised by the holder of:

(i) an approved organisation pilot qualification:

(ii) a pilot licence issued under Part 61:

(iii) a microlight or glider pilot certificate issued by a Part 149 organisation:

(b) under the direct supervision of a person appointed by an approved organisation to give instruction in unmanned aircraft operations.

These requirements do not apply to a person flying within 4 km of an aerodrome, if the activity is a shielded operation and is conducted outside the airfield boundary.

What constitutes a shielded operation?

Shielded operations are defined in Part 101. Examples could be a flight that takes place in a stadium below the height of the roof, or a flight that takes place in a forested area below the height of the trees.

So once you are certified under Part 101, you can, with permission, fly within 4km’s of a Airport, Aerodrome or Heliport.

For most individuals and companies that encompasses all their flying requirements – most do not need a 102 Operator Certificate for the flying they are doing.

So when you have an operator of an aerodrome, or a local council telling you that you need a 102 Certificate in order to operate within 4km’s of an airfield you can quote the law as it stands currently

If you need more help with understanding what you can and can’t do with your drone, give me a call. Will 027 315 2265