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Greater operator responsibility required for drone operation

Greater operator responsibility required for safer drone operations

‘We have been appalled by the recent spate of errant drone operators endangering aviation operations in New Zealand’, said Andy Grant, Chair of industry body UAVNZ.

UAVNZ, a division of Aviation New Zealand, represents the commercial UAV (drone) industry in New Zealand (Civil Aviation Authority - CAA Rule Part 102 companies). With over 50 members, it is the largest industry voice in the commercial UAV sector.

‘We are committed to working alongside the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and other sectors of the aviation industry, to secure a safer and brighter future for all aviation participants,’ Grant said.

‘Unmanned flight is the largest disruptor facing the future of the aviation sector,’ added John Nicholson, Chief Executive of Aviation New Zealand.

CAA rules clearly state what is and is not possible in New Zealand but we are seeing increasing numbers of tourists using drones and New Zealanders importing directly from overseas. Mostly, they don’t know New Zealand rules for safe drone operation.

‘We need to get information on safe drone operations to these people,’ said Nicholson.

‘Education is vitally important and it is a combined responsibility for CAA, NZ Customs, Airways, airports, airlines, aviation companies and tourism providers in New Zealand’. We also need to see the rules enforced.

‘UAVNZ is already working with some of these agencies and companies, and has considerable knowledge of safe, professional drone operations. Clearly though, with the number of recent incidents in New Zealand, much more needs to be done to educate tourists and non-professional drone operators,’ said Grant.

Key facts about Aviation New Zealand
Aviation New Zealand exists to lead, inspire and grow the New Zealand aviation industry.

It was established in 1950 to encourage the safe growth of the aviation industry in New Zealand.

In more recent years, it has also become involved in helping the international development of its members.

o Aviation New Zealand has over 290 members and over 1350 on its database

o Members include agricultural companies, air operators (fixed wing and rotary), aircraft designers and manufacturers, the UAV industry, airports, aviation trainers, emergency and medical services companies, helicopter companies, and parts manufacturers.

Key facts about aviation in New Zealand

An ‘early adopter’ in aviation terms – first international customer for Boeing; first pilot training school 1916; first airmail 1919; and quick appreciation of the suitability of aviation for agriculture, tourism and forestry.

4680 aircraft in New Zealand, one per thousand people, give New Zealand one of the highest aircraft per capita ratios in the world.

Decades of policy innovation to support competition, safety and growth; 30m km² of safely managed airspace; and exports to over 100 countries on all continents.

Aircraft fit-outs, new aircraft (including UAVs), GPS track and tracing systems, high precision processes (for example bait and fire fighting), composites, titanium powders, and aviation industry business and operational systems are just some of the exciting technologies and practices developing in New Zealand which set the scene for growth in the next 100 years. Key facts about drones/UAVs

A report released by MarketsandMarkets in November 2017 predicted that the global UAV market was growing by 18.3% per year and would reach NZ$66 billion by 2023.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the camera capabilities of UAVs is predicted to hold the largest share of the market to 2023. Camera systems are used for continuous video monitoring, investigation, remote surveillance, border security, and protection of critical infrastructure, thermographic inspection of inaccessible buildings, and firefighting and law enforcement.

MarketsandMarkets also predicts that the precision agriculture application for commercial drones is predicted to grow at the highest rate. The UAV drones market for precision agriculture is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Drones are useful for agricultural planners. They reduce the time and cost required to conduct an accurate survey, and offer benefits including real-time data collection, high-resolution imagery of farmland, and lower cost compared with other relative techniques.

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