Flying under Part 101 Rules – Pilot Qualification Mandatory

If you intend to fly either within 4kms of an airport or heliport (unshielded) or within controlled airspace beyond 4 Kms of an airport or heliport (unshielded) you are required to hold an RPAS Pilot qualification to Part 101 standard.

If you intend to fly either:

  • Within 4kms of an airport or heliport (unshielded) or
  • Within controlled airspace beyond 4 Kms of an airport or heliport (unshielded)

You are required to hold an RPAS Pilot qualification to Part 101 standard

This qualification allows you to fly within 4 Kms of an airport/heliport, subject to your complying with standard procedures required by air traffic control and/or airport operators

The holder of an RPAS qualification to Part 101 standard is NOT permitted to operate under the following conditions:

  • Not operating in the hours of darkness (unless this is being carried out under a shielded operation)
  • Not operating above 400 feet (120 meters) above ground level
  • Not flying over people without their permission
  • Not flying over property without the permission of the landowner (incl roads and railways)
  • Not applying liquid spray or pellets to pasture
  • Not flying a drone with an unladen weight greater than 25 Kgs

As a drone operator you have compliance obligations along with all other airspace users. There is no distinction between large commercial jet pilots, light plane pilots or drone operators. In all cases you are required to comply with all laws and rules laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Note: Before you operate your drone in public spaces like parks, reserves or Dept of Conservation land, you need to check with the local council or Dept of Conservation as they may impose their own restrictions over and above CAA rules

Night Flying Note:

If you are considering flying your drone unshielded in the hours of darkness (or very low light conditions such as dawn and dusk), you must also hold a night rating. To achieve a night rating, pilots must also hold an RPAS Pilot Certificate to Part 102 standard as a minimum qualification. There are also other requirements that you should check with one of the team at Drone Trust before you make any decisions.