A recent survey report in New Zealand may shed some light into the country’s drone problem. The country’s top airports have, in the past few years, experienced multiple near-misses involving drones and airplanes. These events may have turned for the worse had it been for sheer and unadulterated luck alone. Drones, flying near busy airspaces, have endangered the lives of thousands of people in planes daily. These drones somehow always find a way to get dangerously close to flying aircraft. Whether or not the owners of these drones intended to fly them towards planes is uncertain, but the danger is there nonetheless.
New Zealand Regulations Survey:
Airways New Zealand spearheaded this report. Involving nearly 1500 drone, the survey delved into the probable cause of the country’s drone incidents. Of the 1500 responders, 500 of them are drone service providers, while the rest are casual/reactional drone users.
The survey observed that 51% of recreational users in the country do not obey regulations. Drone service operators on the other hand got a better score, with 72% familiar with the regulations surrounding drones.
Again, whether or not this is deliberate (i.e.; ignorance of the law) remains unknown, but the danger is still there. For most casual drone users, being able to purchase a fully functioning UAV is as easy as one-two-three. Anyone can head over at a hobby shop, toy store, or even an electronic gadgets store and get one. You can basically do the same steps to get RC vehicles, like race cars, helicopters, and planes. The problem is, drones are but smaller, miniature versions of flying machines. Sure, they do not last very long while in the air, but they can still travel pretty high up.
That is why, and I’m quoting a classic here; with great power comes great responsibility. Something that can easily jam inside a plane engine, causing it to crash surely cannot land in just anyone’s hands. Drones must be within sight of the owner at all times while on the air. These drones must also not go past 400 feet. Drones are also not allowed to fly in an enclosed space like indoor arenas, or above crowds especially in concerts. Privacy is also a major concern regarding recreational drone usage. And, to state the obvious, drones cannot be around busy airspaces. This include airports and runways all over the globe. These regulations are fairly easy enough to follow, but it seems that most users tend to not abide.