Safety for UAV operators

Aerial drones or unmanned aircraft and electrical lines don't mix.

If you are operating an aerial drone that has accidentally come into contact with a power line, tower, substation, or other electrical site, do not attempt to retrieve the vehicle.


To comply with health and safety conditions, you must be a minimum of 12 metres away from our lines at all times. Call us immediately on 0800 THE GRID (0800 843 4743) and get our help. 


At no time should aerial drones, unmanned aircraft, or model aircraft be anywhere near electrical lines or other electrical equipment.

Aerial vehicles that come near high voltage power lines could cause a loss of electrical supply or damage electricity infrastructure, as well as significantly damage or destroy the vehicle. These aircraft do not need to come in direct contact with high voltage power lines for electricity to arc and destroy the vehicle, cause a loss of power, or cause serious injury or harm to people and property. 

If you are operating an unmanned aircraft or drone, be aware of electrical assets in the environment, and ensure you and your vehicle stay well away from them.

We strongly recommend that you and the vehicle avoid power lines, towers, substations and other structures, and stay a minimum of 12 m away from them.

Judging distance from the ground or via an onboard camera is difficult and does not provide an accurate measurement, so we urge vehicle operators to be cautious and avoid areas where there are overhead lines and other electrical assets.

Information about operating aerial drones legally in New Zealand can be obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority, and from the Airshare website.