Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Drones invading controlled air space once a week

Drones invading controlled air space in NZ at rate of one a week, Airways NZ says

By Jonathan Underhill

March 27 (BusinessDesk) - Airways New Zealand, which runs the national air traffic control system, says drones may be invading controlled airspace around airports at a rate of one a week.

Drones are typically too small to be spotted by current air traffic control technology and recent citings have included by pilots of an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland from Japan last Sunday afternoon, who reported a drone came within five metres of the 777-200 aircraft during its descent into Auckland.

Airways chief executive Graeme Sumner says the body is to begin a trial of drone detection technology.

"Drone detection technology is still in its infancy globally but Airways has been actively looking for solutions and we plan to begin trialling a new system within the next three months," Sumner said in a statement.

Airways's website allows drone operators to request flight clearances from air traffic control. Since it began four years ago, the number of drone flights logged with the system has jumped to 600 a week from 30, with 7,000 registered users.

Air NZ said Sunday's near-miss was the second this month after flights were halted at Auckland International Airport for 30 minutes on March 6 after a drone sighting in controlled airspace.

Air New Zealand's chief operations and integrity standards officer Captain David Morgan called on the government to protect the travelling public from the rising risk posed by unregulated drones. On Sunday, the pilots weren't able to take evasive action because they were committed to the descent. There was a concern the drone could have been sucked into one of the jet engines, he said.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Land Report: Issues With Soil Degradation

An environmental report released today has found we are damaging and losing our soils and our native plants and animals. More>>


Water Quality Report: Cause For Optimism

National River Water Quality Trends released by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) this week, reveal that for all river water quality parameters monitored over a 10 year period, more sites were improving than deteriorating. More>>


IMF Report On NZ: Positive Economic Outlook

Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has welcomed the IMF’s Concluding Statement, released following its annual visit, which provides an independent assessment of the strength of the New Zealand economy. More>>


Retail Power Price: Review Panel Named

The Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has released the details of who will sit on an expert advisory panel which is tasked with leading a review into the price of electricity in New Zealand. More>>


Increasingly Disruptive Threats: Govt Cyber Security Refresh

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran today announced a comprehensive refresh of New Zealand’s approach to cyber security. More>>


Regional Growth: Action Plan To Modernise Taranaki’s Economy

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest up to $20 million to help future-proof the Taranaki region by diversifying its economy, creating additional jobs and leveraging off the strong base the region has established through its oil, gas and agricultural ... More>>


Winding Down Irrigation: Funding Ends For Crown Irrigation Investment

The Government has begun winding down public funding for large-scale irrigation through Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL), in line with the Coalition Agreement and the Confidence & Supply Agreement. More>>