About this work
Drones — also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) — are aircraft of any size that operate without a pilot on board. They can be remotely piloted or fly autonomously.
Drones are rapidly gaining in popularity, for both commercial and recreational uses, and are used in a range of ways including scientific research, military training, search and rescue, inspecting powerlines, and filming for movies and television. They are also used in industries such as agriculture, dairy, forestry and tourism. In future, we are likely to see drones being used for goods delivery and even passenger transport.
The Government is committed to having a thriving, innovative and safe drone sector as it will bring the commercialisation of new products and services, and create more jobs.
Drone forums regularly held
The drone forums are a way for us to share what we are doing, where we are going and encourage the sector to get involved. Anyone interested in the use of drones in New Zealand can attend.
Drone regulatory work programme
We are working with the public and stakeholders to develop regulations for the effective integration of drones into our aviation system.
Unmanned Aircraft Integration Leadership Group is established and meets regularly
The group first met in 2018, and meets every 6 months or more often if necessary. It provides strategic guidance and oversight of the work programme to achieve the safe integration of UAS into New Zealand’s airspace.
Drone Benefit study commissioned and released
In collaboration with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, we commissioned a study to quantify the potential benefits of drones to the New Zealand economy, and to support cross-government work towards the efficient integration of drones into our transport system.
Published a paper about the integration of drones into our aviation system
To inform the cross-government work programme on drones, in collaboration with other government departments, we published a paper called ‘Taking flight: an aviation system for the automated age’.