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Saturday, 23 March 2019 10:48 pm

Spate of drone issues raises questions about regulation

Apr 19th, 2018 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

@KawKawKinsPhotography Jacob Hawkins using the DJI Spark, controlling via phone through Wifi


Anyone can go to a local electronic store and buy a drone powerful enough to bring down an airplane.

Aerial photographer Peter Tooley says that it makes sense to regulate the drones.

There has been a recent surge in quadcopter incidences around New Zealand, including Auckland Airport, Whenuapai Airforce Base in Auckland, and Dunedin.

Peter Tooley, of Pete’s Aerial Photography, says 99% of people who fly drones do it because it’s fun to fly.

“Anyone and everyone can go up to a JB Hifi or go to a retail store and pick up a drone that is capable from a regulated point of view and bring down an aeroplane.”

He believes that a, “licensing approach” would work better.

Flying a drone in most of Wellington requires permission from the Civil Aviation Authority, including telling them start and stop times.

“You have to designate when you fly and stop with five days notice,” he says.

Most of the wellington region has been covered with a blanket restricted fly zone shown on this map:

The regulations put in place in 2015 for wellington region, meant Pete had to find other employment outside drone photography.

“I would go and take photos of stores then show them the photos, and more often than not they would be interested in them,” Pete says.

He says now it would be illegal to do what he was doing.

It has never been easier to buy a Drone, for example NewsWire found there are 107 different drones on PriceSpy.

Another drone photographer, Jacob Hawkins of kawkawkinsphotography, agrees regulation is needed.

Hawkins also sells drones in a retail store.

“They’re heaps of fun, ” he says.

Te Papa, taken by Pete that was featured on Te Papa’s twitter and facebook.


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