Aerial conflicts: Drone regulation and gaps in spatial protection
Wallace, P. J. (2016). Aerial conflicts: Drone regulation and gaps in spatial protection. Resource Management Journal, 2016 (August), 17–22.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10666
Drones have undoubtedly arrived in New Zealand landscapes, but less apparent is that adequate regulatory responses have accompanied them. The purpose of this article is to examine the adequacy of New Zealand law and policy in managing the adverse environmental effects of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). Currently regulated by the Civil Aviation Act 1990 (CAA 1990) and associated aviation rules, it is argued that this approach fails to sufficiently capture all potential adverse effects. As a result of exemptions for overflying aircraft the Resource Management Act 1991(RMA), the principal legislation governing resource use in the New Zealand environment, is unable to fill the breach. Instead, the CAA 1990 framework applies, rendering an inconsistent regulatory approach exacerbated by rules which rest operational control largely in the hands of property owners. In this manner opportunity to comprehensively manage spatial conflicts is reduced and spatial protection from potential effects is compromised. A better approach is to include RPA operations within the ambit of the RMA, enabling a permissive regime with appropriate controls to manage potential land use/spatial conflicts.
Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand Inc.
This article is published in the Resource Management Journal. Used with permission.