Which course do I need to take? - Drone Trust | New Zealand

Which course do I need to take?

What is a Part 102 UAOC? Reading Which course do I need to take? 6 minutes Next What is Atti Mode?

That depends on what activities you will be doing, and how you will be doing them. This article covers Part 101 activities, 102 Activities, as well as special requirements for Chemical Spraying and flying over DOC land, plus information on renewing your certifications.

Part 101: 

So long as you are complying with the following conditions you are not required to have any qualification (BUT read on):

  • Not operating in the hours of darkness (unless this is being carried out under a shielded operation)
  • Not operating within 4 Kms of an airport/heliport (unless this is being carried out under a shielded operation)
  • Not operating above 400 feet (120 meters) above ground level
  • Not operating within a controlled airspace beyond the 4 km limit of airports
  • 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

A shielded operation (or shielded flight) is where your drone remains within 100 metres of, and below the top of, a natural or man-made object. For example, a building, tower, or trees.

If you will not be complying with these conditions, jump down to the Part 102 section.

Note: In addition to the above, any operations involving Dept of Conservation land needs to be checked with them beforehand to obtain prior permission and any conditions they may impose.

This means you intend to fly under Part 101 CAA rules (CAR101)

However, you are legally required to comply with all relevant aviation laws and rules. For that reason, we strongly recommend as a minimum, that you attain your NZ Part 101 RPAS Pilot Certificate to ensure you understand your legal obligations, you have a baseline level of aviation knowledge and you are also permitted to fly within 4Kms of an airport/heliport .

There is also good reason for you to consider attaining the higher qualification NZ Professional Pilot Certificate (to Part 102 standard) even though you still intend to fly under Part 101 rules.

Reasons include:

  • The increased cost for the higher qualification is just marginally more.
  • You will receive a recognised pilot certificate from a CAA certified training organisation.
  • You will attain a higher level of aviation knowledge.
  • Having a NZ RPAS Professional Pilot Certificate Course (to Part 102 standard) will enable you to look at a wider range of career opportunities by being able to work under an organisation’s Part 102 UAOC (Unmanned Aerial Operators Certificate). This may also be subject to other possible additional training requirements by that organisation. Note that that the RPAS Professional Pilot Certificate is different to the organisation’s Part 102 UAOC certificate. (we are happy to discuss this if further clarification is required)

Note: This still means that you are only permitted to fly under the restricted conditions that a Part 101 certificate allows. The term for this is flying under Part 101 rules (CAR 101)

Part 102

    If you will be doing any of the following activities, you will also require a Part 102:

    • Operating in the hours of darkness (and not under a shielded operation)
    • Operating within 4kms of an airport (and not under a shielded operation)
    • Operating within controlled airspace (and not under a shielded operation)
    • Flying over people without their permission
    • Flying a drone with an unladen weight greater than 25 Kgs
    • Operating over property without the landowner’s permission
    • Flying above 400 feet (120 Metres) above ground level
    • Other conditions that CAA may impose from time to time

    Note: In addition to the above, any operations involving Dept of Conservation land needs to be checked with them beforehand to obtain prior permission and any conditions they may impose.

    This means you intend to fly under Part 102 CAA rules (CAR 102) and as such, you are required to personally hold a NZ Professional RPAS Pilot Certificate to Part 102 standard and operate in accordance with a Part 102 UAOC held by an organisation .

    You are required to attain your NZ Professional RPAS Pilot Certificate to Part 102 standard. This will ensure you have an appropriate level of aviation knowledge to operate under these more complex situations.

    There is also an additional CAA requirement for a qualified pilot operating under any one of the above conditions. This requires the pilot to fly under what is known as a Part 102 UAOC (Unmanned Aerial Operators Certificate).  This is issued by CAA to organisations or businesses. This “organisation certificate” (as opposed to the individual pilot certificate) provides the ability for an organisation to allow for named pilots to carry out specific activities that are included in what are called privileges to that organisation’s certification (known as their Exposition).

    Applying Aerial Spray or Pellets

    If you are operating a drone for the purpose of applying aerial spray of chemicals or pellets, (including the spraying of buildings) you will require a Part 102, an Agricultural Chemical Certificate, and an Ag Rating for the chemicals you intend to use.

    Flying over DOC Land

    If you intend to fly over Department of Conservation land, requirements can differ depending on the circumstances (ie: if endangered species are close by etc)

    • As a minimum, you will need to attain your NZ RPAS Pilot Certificate (to Part 101 standard) and possibly the higher qualification, the NZ Professional RPAS Pilot Certificate (to Part 102 standard)
    • Prior permission and any conditions they may impose will be required for each operation.
    • If the only reason to hold a NZ Professional Pilot Certificate Part 102 is to fly over Department of Conservation land (and you are not spraying or dropping pellets or carrying out any type of drone recovery work in that area, or carrying out other operations covered in this questionnaire) it is unlikely that you will be required to fly under what is known as a Part 102 UAOC (Unmanned Aerial Operators Certificate) that is issued by CAA to organisations or businesses. This “organisation certificate” (as opposed to the individual pilot certificate) provides the ability for an organisation to allow for named pilots to carry out specific activities that are included in what are called privileges to that the organisation’s certification (known as their Exposition). You will need to have this confirmed by the Dept of Conservation

    Note: The above provides general guidance only. It is recommended that you satisfy yourself by discussing your intentions further with the Department of Conservation and Drone Trust