Auckland, New Zealand it seems just can’t catch a break when it comes to drone related incidents. For the past number of months alone, the country has seen multiple instances of civilian drones nearly crashing into passenger aircrafts. This has led to some heated debate on the regulations surrounding common civilians flying drones. After all, not only is the controller endangering the aircrafts passing by. The people riding the planes and helicopters are also at the mercy of these drone flyers who do not know their limits.
A private plane earlier this month crashed because of a drone flying above its restricted limits. The event also took place at an active airspace, meaning this could eventually happen again. Instead of a private plane with two people onboard, it may be a fully sized passenger plane.
A particular airport in New Zealand seems like the epicenter of these drone incidents. Multiple instances over the year has seen planes nearly evading drones flown in the airport. There are also times where a plane has to divert into another airport to avoid any collision.
Auckland and its Drone Woes:
Another such event occurred at the Auckland Airport in New Zealand. The site of many drone-related incidents, this airport seems to attract the wrong kind of attention.
The airport reported another drone sighting this week and had to divert two landing planes. The area also suspended arrivals of incoming planes for over thirty minutes. This delayed most flights and left passengers in fear and confusion. A truly embarrassing debacle for an airport where this sort of thing happens a lot.
Thanks to the vigilant eyes of a flight crew onboard a landing plane, a collision with the drone did not take place. This also gave the Air Traffic Control of the airport a chance to do preemptive actions for incoming flights. The afternoon for this airport was just beginning.
Over the next hour delays and suspended schedules happened to ensure no aircraft would collide with the wary drone. Up to seven different arriving aircrafts rerouted until the airport gave the clear signal.
Yes, an incredibly busy airport is no place to fly drones. It risks hundreds of lives both onboard the planes and on the ground below. It still has not stopped the area’s drone flyers however, as this incident seems to pop up all the time in the area.
A truly shameful and irresponsible act by drone users, but also an embarrassing look at the airport’s security. The good thing about this whole thing is that it showed the Air Traffic Control was cautious enough to take action. One bright spot in a myriad of errors still won’t make up for the events in the airport, however.