Drone fly­ing lessons have not taken off

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - TA­MARA THORN

A man’s plan to run drone fly­ing cour­ses at the Toko­roa Air­field may not get off the ground un­less a com­pro­mise can be found.

Bruce Simp­son is at odds with the South Waikato District Coun­cil over his am­bi­tion to teach peo­ple how to fly drones at the air­port.

He says he has $40,000 to start the cour­ses and hun­dreds of peo­ple who have ex­pressed in­ter­est, via his pop­u­lar Youtube chan­nels.

Simp­son said he sees no rea­son why the coun­cil should turn down the op­por­tu­nity to bring the ven­ture - and tourism - to the town.

South Waikato District Coun­cil spokes­woman Kerry Fabrie said the Coun­cil have not said ‘no’ to Simp­son. In fact they thought is was a good idea and there were op­por­tu­ni­ties for Simp­son to do just that.

They had of­fered Simp­son the op­por­tu­nity to hire the air­port, in­clud­ing plac­ing a NOTAM (which is a no­tice to other civil avi­a­tion users) so that he can do this.

‘‘Mr Simp­son, on the other hand, would like a three month ex­clu­sive use of the air­field un­der which he would have author­ity and con­trol of the air­field dur­ing this time and that Coun­cil would delist the air­field.

‘‘Coun­cil can­not ap­prove this. There are other clubs and users at the fa­cil­ity that need to be con­sid­ered. We have also of­fered Mr Simp­son fa­cil­i­ties (other re­serves) for him to un­der­take this, but this has also not been ac­cepted.’’

Along with not be­ing able to train peo­ple to fly Simp­son is dis­gusted that ratepay­ers and chil­dren are un­able to fly drones in parks without cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

‘‘There is no public place to fly a drone in Toko­roa un­less you have the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that isn’t ac­tu­ally nec­es­sary, but yet the Coun­cil de­mands that you have it.’’

He said ‘‘Kids shouldn’t need a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, they just want to take their toy christ­mas morn­ing, go down to the park with their lit­tle he­li­copter, fly it, no one is go­ing to get killed.’’

‘‘I don’t want to see the kids of this town ba­si­cally de­nied an op­por­tu­nity, and the Coun­cil shouldn’t al­low that.’’

Fabrie said Chil­dren can fly drones in Toko­roa and they were ‘‘con­tin­u­ally baf­fled’’ by Simp­son’s in­sis­tence that coun­cil has a rule that says they can’t.

‘‘They can, but need to com­ply with CAA rules, ex­actly the same as ev­ery drone user in the coun­try’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.