To date in New Zealand, there has been no singular body that represents the interests of remote pilots of aircraft systems (RPAS) as a whole.
Our intention: Create a committee of members from recreational (MFNZ), part 101 sport, enthusiast / non business, professional, and part 102 operators. The founding members agree that while UAVNZ serves a specific purpose for 102 operators, it necessarily lacks membership due to low 102 numbers, and therefore has limited industry voice, which see it sometimes stalled in bureaucracy with the manned aviation industry. MFNZ, while a good resource for most recreational pilots, does not cater to professional pilots, and has not heretofore been interested in specifically advocating for pilots of photographic drones, a hugely growing area of the New Zealand airspace, in both enthusiast and professional sectors.
The initial creation of this association is being funded by founders William Bryson and Richard Milner. We would like the support of the wider RPA community in getting things moving so that we can hear your views on where you see the sector and where we need to push for change, both to improve safety (and the perception of safety), and to enable pilots to operate with as much freedom as is practical.
Once the association is fully established, the founding members will call for the inaugural AGM, and all positions on the council will be voted for, including those of the founding members. Richard has been involved with the Australian group ARPCO for 5 years, which he has found has a voice that effectively influences government decisions. We feel it is high time that New Zealand had the same.
We are the fastest growing aviation industry the world has ever seen. We need to have a voice.