Drone fliers warned

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Nico

DRONE users are be­ing 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) is warn­ing users to in­form them­selves about lo­cal re­stricted ar­eas 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.”

Mr Klomp said the Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Author­ity (CASA) re­quired some drone users to need a li­cence but 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 if they need to be li­censed to use their drone,” he said.

“A drone op­er­a­tor is ul­ti­mately re­spon­si­ble for its use so op­er­a­tors must be in­formed and op­er­ate within the bounds of the law.”

Mem­bers of the pub­lic or com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions af­fected by Jan­dakot Air­port op­er­a­tions, or who have an in­ter­est in avi­a­tion, are in­vited to join the JACACG.

Visit www.jan­dako­tair­port.com.au/com­mu­nity/com­mu­nity-avi­a­tion-con-sul­ta­tion-group for more in­for­ma­tion on join­ing.

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 with a drone at the Jan­dakot air­field.

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