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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

This page contains information on permission to operate a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

Flying your drone in Dunedin

Recreational drones 1.5kg and lighter can be flown without a permit over some DCC-owned parks. However, flying is prohibited (unless you have permission) over other DCC-owned land, including roads, playgrounds, cemeteries, and water and wastewater facilities. There are also restrictions within 4km of an aerodrome

Anyone using a drone for commercial purposes, or flying a drone weighing more than 1.5kg, over DCC owned land requires a permit. You can complete an online permit

Some green space is owned by other authorities, like the Department of Conservation. Permission from these authorities is required if you plan to fly your drone over their land. If you are flying over private property, you will need consent from the property owner.

All drone operators must follow Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) safety guidelines

Key CAA Guidelines

  • Don’t fly drones over people or organised events without permission
  • Only fly during daylight hours and make sure you can see the drone at all times
  • Don’t fly your drone above the height of surrounding trees and buildings if within 4 kms of an aerodrome as this could put it in controlled airspace used by other aircraft
  • Any drone over 25kg requires certification from the CAA
  • Flying in prohibited areas or breaching CAA guidelines could incur a penalty of up to $1000.

Restricted and Prohibited Fly Zones

In order to protect wildlife, a complete no-fly zone exists across ecologically sensitive areas. These areas are shown on the map.

In Dunedin, there are also three main restricted air spaces – around Taieri Airfield, Dunedin Airport and the Dunedin Hospital helipad.

Many of Dunedin’s parks are within 4km of an aerodrome (see map). If you want to fly a recreational drone 1.5kg or lighter over one of these parks without a permit, you must fly within 100m of a building or natural feature such as a tree, and below the height of the structure or feature. This prevents your drone from flying into other aircraft. To operate outside these provisions you need permission from the relevant air authority.

Restricted and Prohibited Fly Zones Map. (new window)

Pre-flight Checklist

  • I have consent to fly in the area I intend to fly in, if required
  • I won’t fly my drone over people or an organised event (unless given permission)
  • I’ll be flying my drone during daylight
  • I’ll make sure I can see the drone at all times
  • If I want to fly my drone within restricted areas I have permission from the relevant air authority
  • If my drone is over 1.5kg I have a DCC permit to operate
  • If my drone is over 25kg I have CAA certification.

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