Auckland Airport arrivals delayed amid drone, 'large balloon' sighting

  • 03/04/2024
Auckland Airport arrivals delayed amid drone, 'large balloon' sighting
Photo credit: Newshub. / Getty Images

Flights into Auckland Airport were delayed for a short period when someone flew a drone into its airspace on Tuesday night.

Police also investigated reports of a "large balloon" drifting toward the airport.

"A drone was spotted and arriving aircraft were held up for around 15 minutes. Departures were not impacted," an airport spokesperson told Newshub.

The balloon sighting, reported by TravelTalk, did not delay any flights.

In a statement police confirmed both incidents, saying they had informed airport staff of the balloon sighting and had referred the drone matter to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

"Police received a report of a drone high in the air, in flight airspace near Flat Bush," the statement reads.

"Police also received a report of a large balloon drifting towards the Auckland Airport, reported around Clendon Park. Police checked cameras but did not sight anything."

In New Zealand, penalties for unauthorised drone flights near airports can include fines of up to $5000 for individuals and $25,000 for corporations. In more serious cases or deliberate breaches, individuals may also face criminal charges, which could result in higher fines or even imprisonment.