Call for crackdown on bad drone pilots

  • 07/04/2018
A drone and a plane.
A drone and a plane. Photo credit: Getty

Headaches for an airline union seem to be getting worse following yet another drone incident.

A device was spotted five kilometres from Auckland Airport on Friday, forcing seven incoming aircraft to stay in the air.

President Tim Robinson from the Airline Pilots' Association says the smaller drones are the ones that tend to cause trouble.

"The damage that even the lighter ones can [cause] to light aircraft, helicopters and of course bigger transport aircraft could be catastrophic," he told Newshub.

He thinks retailers need to be educated on the rules and regulations too so they can pass the information on to the customer.

"If someone turns up to purchase a drone, they can be pointed in the right direction, they can be pointed to the literature and online sources of information," he said.

"Hopefully the message will start getting through."

 The Civil Aviation Authority says the safety of the travelling public cannot be compromised by thoughtless fools.

It's been notified about Friday's incident along with police, but Mr Robinson says there needs to be a crackdown.

"Airspace users are concerned about drones being used illegally... it absolutely needs to be addressed," he said.

At least one drone operating illegally in controlled airspace is reported each week.