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Radio transmitter use with Unmanned Aeronautical Vehicles (UAV’s) or Drones

With the rapid growth in this exciting area of technology, it is timely to remind suppliers and users of the requirements pertaining to the use of radio transmitters.

UAV’s use radio frequencies for remote control of the airborne device as well as for video and audio streaming from air to ground. Typically the remote control will be via 433 MHz or 2.4 GHz devices with video and audio being transferred by 5.8 GHz equipment. The transmitters must all comply with the respective licence conditions specified in the General User Licences (GUL) and the Radiocommunications (radio standards) Notice 2010. Most equipment is developed offshore and often exceeds the frequency and power limits required in New Zealand, making it illegal to possess or use it. Beware of equipment being offered in the 900-1280MHz area as this will not comply with New Zealand requirements.

If you intend purchasing this equipment within New Zealand ask the supplier for evidence of compliance. This will be either a supplier code number (SCN) or R-NZ label. Purchasing from offshore may be attractive but all responsibility for compliance rests with the purchaser. Recent Trademe listings of non-compliant devices have led to listings being removed and compliance action being taken against the traders.