Congratulations to our team for a successful audit and re-certification of our drones operations working under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of NZ.      The team showed their professionalism and attention to detail throughout the re-certification process and this has now been extended through to maximum allowable 5 years (2023).   Interpine continue to lead the forestry and rural fire emergency sectors in our approach and deployment of drone operations, from being the first organisation in these industries to become certified to now extending this certification for the maximum period permitted.   We look forward to continuing to work with industry and the CAA to progress the applications and use of drones while continuing our drive for a “best practice approach”.

What does being CAA CAR 102 Certified Mean ?

Part 102 is based on the risk of the operations. Applicants must submit an ‘exposition’ showing that they have identified hazards and risks of their operation, and ways they will mitigate those risks. Each application will be considered on its merit – this allows for the wide scope of operations made possilbe by RPAS. – CAA Website (

Part 102 captures all unmanned aircraft that do not operate under Part 101. This includes any autonomous aircraft. The most common type of unmanned aircraft are remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS). Again, for the purpose of the Civil Aviation Rules (CARs), a remotely piloted aircraft is: ‘an unmanned aircraft piloted from a remote station and includes a remotely controlled model aircraft’.

Any unmanned aircraft operation will introduce hazards and risks that will need to be managed. Certificate holders must have an operational Safety Management System (SMS).   This is a crucial to the acknowledgement of all the potential hazards, the level of risk each hazard poses, and the measures that will be taken to mitigate these risks.    The focus is on certificate holders demonstrating that their operations will be safe. The CAA Director will look at the people involved in the operation, the aircraft, and the scope of the operation. The Director must be satisfied that the operation is safe, and that the operator is able to mitigate and control the risks before issuing the certificate.    This requires the application of extensive standard operating procedures (SOP). These SOP include a process for conducting a risk assessment on the type of operation, and the organisation intends to undertake.