With some models now costing less than $100, drones have become mass-market stocking stuffers.

And they've caused mass chaos, from the Gatwick shutdown to near misses at Auckland Airport, Queenstown Airport and the Air Force base at Whenuapai to a crunching at Parliament.

Even before today, there were more than 11,000 voluntarily registered via Airways' Airshare website site, with likely thousands more on top of that.

But if you follow the rules, you can have hours of happy droning without mishap.


They include:

• fly only in daylight

• keep line-of-sight with your drone (i.e., not through binoculars, a monitor, or smartphone)

• don't fly your drone higher than 120m (400 feet) above ground level

• don't fly closer than 4km to any aerodrome

• gain consent from anyone you want to fly above

• gain consent from the owner or manager of any property you want to fly above

• don't film anyone with your drone cam without their permission


• don't upload footage of anyone to the internet without their permission

It is also prohibited to fly a drone above designated dog areas in parks and beaches, stadiums, Auckland Botanic Gardens, Auckland Zoo, Western Springs, Aotea Square, Cornwell Park, Wynyard Quarter or Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountains such as One Tree Hill and Mt Eden) without permission.

Amateur drone jockeys can get exemptions granted via Airshare.co.nz, while those who become CAA-licensed droned operators get broader parameters on a permanent basis.

See the full list of Civil Aviation Authority and Airways' drone rules here.

And the Privacy Commissioner's summary of consent and privacy rules here.