​​​​​Anyone wanting to operate a remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) commonly known as a drone on or from (fly above) Taupo District land, including reserves, is required to apply for a permit.

This is covered by our general bylaw which states:

“Except with the prior permission of Council or an authorised officer a person shall not on any public place: Fly from or land any aeroplane including model aeroplanes, a hot air balloon or hang glider, parachutes or similar except in an emergency.”

This has been in place for some time.

Apply for a permit

View or download a permit application

Completed permit applications can be sent to:

Taupo District Council,
Private Bag 2005,
Taupo 3352


For more information contact 07 376 0899 or 0800 ASK TDC.

Civil Aviation Rules

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently made amendments to Parts 101 and 102 of the Civil Aviation Rules. The amendments, which came into effect from 1 August 2015, include changes to how RPAS are operated and ma​naged.

Among other things, the amendments brought in new consent requirements, which see operators of RPAS needing to get consent from the owners of land they want to fly over and also from individuals who they may fly over.

If an operator cannot operate strictly within the requirements of Part 101, they may apply to the CAA for certification under Part 102 which would see the CAA set criteria tailored to the specifics of their operation.

What are some of the other changes?

Aside from the consent requirements, some other rule changes that RPAS operators must adhere to under Part 101 include:

  • not flying closer than 4km from any aerodrome (unless certain conditions are met such as permission from the aerodrome operator);
  • must hold a pilots licence or a wings badge issued by the Model Flying New Zealand if operating within 4km of an airport;
  • not flying at night;
  • not flying higher than 120 metres (400 feet) above ground level and
  • not losing sight of the RPAS.

It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure they meet all the requirements of the CAA’s rules.

Aerodromes and RPAS no-fly areas

Permission from the aerodrome operator is required to fly within the areas shown on the two maps below:

Page reviewed: 16 Oct 2017 5:00pm