3 Jan 2019

CAA probes drone near-misses

8:53 pm on 3 January 2019

The Civil Aviation Authority is stepping in to investigate two drone incidents in Auckland on New Year's Eve.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The police helicopter had to suspend operations when a drone came within 10m of the aircraft, and an aerial filming specialist says he came across three drones within 30m of his helicopter.

Acting director of Civil Aviation, John Kay, said people who fly drones and ignore the rules created unacceptable safety risks.

He said the authority were investigating and would take appropriate action.

"The rules around drones are there to keep people safe, whether they're in the air or on the ground," he said.

"Drones are fun devices if operated safely. They are also aircraft - not simply toys or cool gadgets.

"Anyone intending to fly a drone must know the Civil Aviation Rules and then fly it safely."

The Civil Aviation Authority advised that there are five thing any person flying a drone needs to do:

  • Keep the drone in sight and fly it lower than 120m or 400ft
  • Only fly it over people or property with permission
  • Stay at least 4kms away from airports and helipads
  • Stay away from other aircraft
  • Be considerate of others
  • A Ministry of Transport spokesperson has confirmed work is underway to look at potential changes to drone regulations, but said no further details were available at this stage.

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