The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations.
Most unmanned aircraft operations are currently regulated by rules designed for model aircraft. There is a growing number of applications for these aircraft and as a result, aviation safety regulators worldwide are under enormous pressure to ‘fast track’ their introduction. They can be used for a range of applications including scientific research, film and video production and agriculture, power and pipeline surveillance.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority this can mean greater safety risks for airspace users and for people and property.
“The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association accepts that the use of UAVs/drones is increasing sharply around New Zealand and indeed worldwide and wants them integrated in a safe manner into the existing aviation system,” said Technical Director Captain Rob Torenvlied.
“They need to provide at least an equivalent level of safety and integrity as conventional piloted aircraft and a major challenge remains the development of the ‘see and avoid’ technology to ensure that these devices can remain clear of other conventional aircraft,” he said.
The CAA is calling on anyone who wants to operate an unmanned aircraft to find out what their safety obligations are before they fly.
The CAA’s Notice of Proposed Rule-Making will be issued on the 4th December 2014 and members of the public and industry can provide their feedback before 20th January 2015.
The current rules for operating unmanned aircraft can be found on the CAA website.