New Zealand Law Society - Government paper considers drone regulation

Government paper considers drone regulation

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The Government has released a paper which outlines its plan for drones.

Taking Flight: an aviation system for the automated age sets out the Government vision for how drones can be better integrated into the current transport system.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford says there are already over 77,000 drones in use in New Zealand the public have concerns about privacy and safety.

The paper says effective drone regulation is vital for fostering and supporting effective integration and creating social licence.

"On the other side, poorly designed or unresponsive regulation could create potential barriers to the integration of beneficial activities. For New Zealand to fully realise the benefits of drone operations, our regulatory system needs to be flexible, enforceable, proportionate, equitable, consistent with relevant international standards and practices and have scope to evolve to respond to changing circumstances or new information on the regulatory system’s performance."

It says regulation should be designed to support integration and be regularly reviewed and adjusted to ensure this.

"As with all aviation regulation, restrictions in activity will be continue to be necessary to ensure safety and security is maintained. There is a need to continue raising awareness of the rules, regulations and safety requirements for drone operations (through education and improving the way in which we communicate with the public and through visible enforcement of regulations). There is also a need to better understand what drone operations (commercial and recreational) the public is comfortable with. This is likely to help address any public concerns about drone operations."