Air New Zealand has been recorded as stating their support for any action taken against drone operators in the future. The airline has the interests of their passengers and crew at heart. Negligence by drone operators is becoming a common risk and must be controlled and monitored correctly. This follows the reckless flight of a drone operator on Tuesday, that put many at risk.
Tuesday’s incident was not the first of its kind. In February, a drone operator was convicted for his negligent flight pattern, which caused mayhem. Jorge Eduardo Riquelme Cruz flew his drone amid seven helicopters who were on a mission to fight a fire in the Wanaka region. The interference by the drone caused the cessation of the operation and forced the helicopters to land.
The incident on Tuesday put lives at risk, but also disrupted flight schedules of almost twenty aircraft, which were due to land in Auckland. The landing was delayed, with one flight being forced to land at an air force base nearby. One can only imagine how tensions mounted, as time passed, and fuel diminished. It is unlikely the culprit will receive more than a slap on the wrist for his involvement in the event.
Clampdown on Drones
The increase in the use of drones, both recreationally and commercially, has been considerable. New Zealand Air Line Pilots Association has not taken the matter lightly, and has called for the registration, and licensing, of all drone operators. This is a measure that will allow the correct authorities to be aware of all those flying, and it will provide the opportunity for the drone operators to receive the education, and safety briefing, required. Incidents of this nature will continue to rise if preventative action is not sought. It is necessary to take evasive action now, before the issue gets out of hand, to such an extent that there is no recourse.