CAA 'hopping mad' over latest drone incident

Another drone incident in Auckland.
Another drone incident in Auckland. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Flights have been delayed at the country's busiest airport after a drone was spotted by pilots on approach to the runway.

Just before 3pm the Auckland control tower received reports from two pilots there was a drone operating in the Manukau area at 1200 feet and just 5 kilometres from the airport.

Arrivals were suspended and flights were moved to keep them away from the area where the drone was spotted.

Steve Moore from the Civil Aviation Authority is "hopping mad" over the latest incident.

"Pilots and their passengers should be able to take off and land at our airports without the added risk of a drone coming into contact with their aircraft."

"The idiots who are doing this are putting people's lives at risk and need to be identified before something catastrophic happens. The safety of the traveling public cannot be compromised by thoughtless fools flying drones illegally in the airport zones." Mr Moore said.

It's not the first time a drone has caused delays at Auckland airport. Exactly one month ago today 20 aircraft were delayed and one was diverted to Ohakea near Palmerston North after coming from Tokyo.

Airways New Zealand say they are increasingly concerned about the level of drone sightings in controlled airspace.

They say they recieve one report of a drone operating illegally in controlled airspace every week.