Keep an eye on the skies

Melville Times - - News -

DRONE users have been warned not to fly near air­ports to avoid putting air­craft in dan­ger.

As per­sonal drones con­tinue to soar in pop­u­lar­ity, the Jan­dakot Air­port Com­mu­nity Avi­a­tion Con­sult­ing Group (JACACG) has warned users to find out where lo­cal re­stricted ar­eas are and the dan­gers of fly­ing drones near air­ports.

JACACG chair­man Steve Klomp said as drones be­came cheaper, more ad­vanced and more able to reach the heights used by com­mer­cial air­craft, they posed greater risks to pi­lots, who of­ten could not see such small ob­jects in the sky un­til it was too late.

He said drones were not al­lowed to in­trude into avi­a­tion airspace and could not be used at or near an air­port.

“The num­bers of drones in use has ex­ploded in re­cent times and their use is only go­ing to in­crease,” he said.

“This is fine, in fact it is great, as long as they are not a dan­ger to oth­ers or to air­craft.

“They may be only a nui­sance, hold­ing up traf­fic or caus­ing col­li­sion warn­ing sys­tems to ac­ti­vate, but on the other hand they can hit a pro­pel­ler or be sucked into a jet en­gine. A drone col­lid­ing with an air­craft can be a catas­tro­phe.”

He said the Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Au­thor­ity (CASA) re­quired some drone users to need a li­cence but that many, in­clud­ing those fly­ing on their own prop­erty, only needed to no­tify CASA of their plans.

“Lo­cals have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to be in­formed about how and where they may op­er­ate a drone and whether they need to be li­censed to use their drone,” he said.

Visit www.casa.gov. au/air­craft/land­ing-page/ fly­ing-drones-aus­tralia for a free smart­phone app, as well as a free drone op­er­a­tors e-Learn­ing mod­ule.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487298

Jan­dakot Air­port op­er­a­tions co-or­di­na­tor Jac­qui Gill, JACACG chair­man Steve Klomp and City of Cock­burn strate­gic plan­ning man­ager An­drew Trosic.

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