Welcome to Skycam UAV 2014 Ltd

Skycam UAV NZ Ltd based in Palmerston North New Zealand has been actively involved and lead the market developing & manufacturing RPV's and UAV's since the late 1980's. During the early 90's we perfected an aerial photography platform based on a petrol powered model helicopter and carried out 100's of aerial photography missions for clients ranging from real estate agents to the NZ film industry. 
Skycam has been supported a defence UAS project since 2006 using NZ based defence technology (DTA) designed software and hardware. This same equipment is now available from Skycam to provide aerial survey solutions for commercial operators wanting flexability and cost effective results.

Check the news and videos pages regularly to keep up with all the exciting developments

Latest Updates

december 2015

palmerston north city council issues "Drones parks policy"

Palmerston North City Council has been proactive with respect to permission to fly UAVs and model aircraft in city parks.  Since the changes to CAA Rules Part 101, they have dealt with individual applications for permission to fly within parks and reserves in the city.  Now they have issued a formal policy and have prepared a brochure providing potential users with information on the locations of permitted, restricted and forbidden areas.  Pilots must still comply with Part 101 or Part 102 Rules and log flight plans on the Airshare website.  While this might appear onerous and complicated, in fact it is a very user-friendly system that will also log flights for later review.

 The brochure will soon be available in hard copy, but a pdf version is available here.  Skycam UAV recommends that all users of UAVs read the brochure and visit the Airshare website.

 pdf PNCC Parks UAV Drone Policy 2015 (0.93MB)


November 2015


Professor John Brooks recently presented a talk at the joint meeting of the Hawke's Bay branch of the Royal Society and the New Zealand Institute for Food Science and Technology about his visit to Antarctica in January 2014, when he flew the Skycam Swampfox to survey cyanobacterial mats in the Taylor Dry Valley.

The following day, he visited Karamu High School, St. John's College and Lindisfarne College to talk to students about  UAVs and the expedition to Antarctica.

He also interviewed by Lynne Trafford on Radio Kidnappers. You can hear the interview here.

 mp3 Interview Radio Kidnappers (11.77MB)


July 2015

Contact changes

As part of the on going changes in the organization, we have disconnected the old (06) 355 5747 phone number.  If you'd like to talk to us, please use the new number in the contacts section.

March 2015

More about AUT

A local paper has printed another great article on the Auckland University of Technology's use of Skycam UAV systems for environmental monitoring.

The full article can be found here

Please note that the article wrongly attributes development of the system to the Royal New Zealand Airforce.  In actuality, the autopilot was developed by the NZ Defense Technology Agency and the airframe and operational training by us here at Skycam.  A correction is expected to be printed next week.

With Planes and Rubber Bands

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Skycam is happy to report the release of Nigel Latta's On Thin Ice, a documentary in two parts that covers New Zealand's research programs in the Antarctic region.  Nigel spent some time in the Taylor Dry Valley with Professor John Brooks who was operating a Swampfox UAV for the Auckland University of Technology.


This is a great piece, covering the very useful role that Swampfox played in allowing researchers to gather more and more detailed data in the valley while,. at the same time, minimizing impact on the environment

We have also received reports from AUT that the images from the Multispec 4C, 4-band, multispectral camera have returned some staggering results (pictures will be posted when available)

February 2015

Forestry photography

This month saw Skycam's Tim and John Brooks heading out to Tangimoana State Forest to fly a trial for the forest managers, Ernslaw One.

Ernslaw is interested in the high-resolution and fast processing time that comes from using a UAV at low level.  The imagery will be used to monitor the condition of the forests throughout their life cycle as well as for planning purposes.

The problem with forest, however, is that they are full of trees.  After taking a tour of the site, Tim and John decided to launch from a small clearing with waist high grass.

  Clearing LZ back

Swampfox's high-powered climb-out handled it with ease and the 1800 photo, covering several square kilometers was completed in one and a half hours.

Thanks to Ohakea Base Ops and ATC for being flexible enough to allow this type of operation in their airspace.

Proposed FAA rules

The FAA has proposed new rules to govern the use of UAV in the US for commercial purposes.  The new proposal is for a UAV operator certificate and has many of the same restrictions as operating under Part 101 in New Zealand.  The summary of the restrictions are: Not outside unaided line-of-sight, not above 400ft AGL, Daylight only and not withing 4km of an airfield boundary.

This is a significant step forward to UAV operations in the US as it removes the requirement that an operator hold a full-sized pilots licence.

We look forward to seeing this proposal be implementd

January 2015

AUT heads back to the ice

For the second year, the Auckland University of Technology was part of an expedition to Antarctica's Taylor Dry Valley to collect imagery using a Skycam-built Swampfox UAV.

 AUT ice 2 (medium)

This year the Cheif Pilot was AUT's School of Applied Sciences Head, Prof Len Gillman.  Len carried with him several new sensors (including their new Multispec 4C, multispectral camera which had just completed integration) and pair of Swampfox airframes that had received upgrades to improve perfomance and reliability.

Len was able to perform several flights and capture a large volume of imagery before the weather closed in on them and the snow started.  Some of the results will be posted when the become available.

WoW airshow

Skycam's Tim Brooks was in attendance at the Wings over Wairarapa airshow this month at the, newly-formed, UAV display tent.  The airshow provided an oportunity for Skycam to show off the great work it has been doing in the UAV field and to meet other operators who are contrubuting to CAA's Rule Part 102 which will form the basis of UAV regulation in New Zealand.  All parties seemed to be in agreement about the way forward to safe and effective integration of UAV into the New Zealand aviation scene.


UAV trade




The autopilot is the ‘brain’ at the heart of the UAV; it provides control, guidance, navigation and communication functions.

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Contact US

Phone: +64 21 110 1099

Email: info@skycam.co.nz


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Check out our exciting new twin sensor Swamp fox UAV platform...