Airways statement re: near miss with drone
Air traffic control organisation Airways New Zealand says it is concerned about an increasing number of drone sightings
in controlled airspace.
“Over the past year we have received reports of more than one drone per week operating without authorisation in
controlled airspace. Air traffic control technology is currently unable to detect small objects such as drones so we
rely on drone operators to follow the rules and register with us before they fly to ensure all aircraft are integrated
safely into our airspace.
“Drone detection technology is still in its infancy globally but Airways has been actively looking for solutions and we
plan to begin trialling a new system within the next three months,” says Airways CEO Graeme Sumner.
Airways has operated the airshare.co.nz
website for four years, allowing drone operators to request flight clearances from air traffic control and providing
information on where they can fly safely. In that time the number of drone flights logged with the system has increased
from 30 to 600 per week with more than 7,000 users now registered.
Drone operators in the Canterbury and Queenstown regions can also join Airways’ AirMap trial - a free iOS and Android
app, which they can access to seek necessary airspace and public landowner approvals to fly, file flight plans, and
access real-time information about other aircraft in the area.
Airways urges all drone users to register with airshare.co.nz
and log their flights before they fly.
Airways New Zealand
Making your world possible
Airways looks after air traffic throughout NZ; at control towers located at main trunk and regional airports; at NZ's
military bases and in our two radar centres in Auckland and Christchurch. We work with government, regulatory
authorities, airlines, airports and the general aviation community to ensure pilots, passengers and goods reach their
destination - safely.