The Auckland Airport in New Zealand can’t seem to catch a break. Numerous drone incidents during the past few months alone have made this airport a dangerous place for aircrafts. Many flights had to go to other airports to avoid collision with drones. Even more flights had delay landing to make sure the runways were clear.
This particular airport just seems to attract irresponsible drone owners.
A Ballooning Fiasco in Auckland:
Another incident occurred this week at the airport that really puts a black mark on their security efforts. A drone scare led to several flights frozen in order for the airport to investigate. After a few tense minutes of scheduled flights delayed, the culprit for this drone scare was… a balloon. A large balloon, in fact, but harmless still.
This embarrassing hiccup from the airport’s security team points at a “safety priority.” But in the recent light of the many drone incidents that had occurred in this area, is safety really a priority? It seems that the only thing the airport can do in these situations is to “halt everything” while they start their checking. Would a preventative measure be too much to ask for a place where this happens frequently?
New Zealand has had a number of near misses when it comes to planes and drones. A wary drone colliding with a fully boarded passenger plane would spell disaster. Even if it was just a simple scratch; damage to the plane would still occur. This risks the lives of hundreds of passengers as well as the crew on board.
So what have they done to put an end to this chain of embarrassing fiascos?
Drone rules had various appealed to be stricter. Especially in airports and busy airspaces. Stricter regulations and higher consequences were suggested to prevent drone owners from breaking protocol. But that seems to have little to no effect for the drone users in the area. And it’s no mere coincidence that Auckland Airport just seem to not stay away from headlines. Drone incidents happen on a global scale, yes. But it’s incredibly unprecedented that they happen at one particular place multiple times in a short amount of period.
As long as the regulations governing drones and its owners maintain at this state, there will be no change. No change for the better, I tell you. Security around the airport should also be a priority. As with the multiple drone incidents that happened in the area, no drone owner faced consequences. They all seem to vanish with no traces as soon as authorities get in the area. They are long gone before anybody at the airport can do anything.