Spikes in Drone incidents prompt warning to Gold Coast operators

Spikes in Drone incidents prompt warning to Gold Coast operators

After a rise in risky drone flying on the Gold Coast, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has issued a warning, hoping to educate operators of their responsibilities and the legislation around flying your drone.

This comes after a spike in the number of drones being flown in restricted airspace around Gold Coast Airport, which can attract up to an $11,000 fine; CASA’s Peter Gibson says the photogenic appeal of beachside locations within 5.5 km of Gold Coast Airport has made the restricted airspace a “drone hotspot”.

“We understand the allure of using drone cameras to capture the best attributes of the nation’s playground, but this must not be done at the expense of the safety of the community,” Mr Gibson said.

“There has been an increase in drone sightings in popular recreational areas like Currumbin Beach, Snapper Rocks and Coolangatta. This is concerning because these areas are within a 5.5 km radius of Gold Coast Airport, where drone activity is prohibited for drones that weigh more than 250 grams.”

As part of an ongoing national drone safety education campaign, CASA takes a grassroots approach to raising awareness and understanding of safe flying in the Gold Coast region by liaising with local councils, tourism centres and community groups.

Queensland Airports Limited Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the Gold Coast Airport team was working with CASA to reinforce the drone safety message to southern Gold Coast and northern NSW residents and business operators.

“Drones can pose a serious safety risk to aircraft and disrupt airport operations, so it is extremely important that drone users understand the airspace restrictions impacting parts of the southern Gold Coast and northern NSW,” she said.

“Drones must never be flown near major airports like Gold Coast Airport and should be kept well clear of aircraft.”

Before taking to the sky, drone flyers are asked to check the CASA-verified drone safety apps to get accurate information about where they can and can’t fly.

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