A steady increase in the popularity of “UAVs”, or unmanned aerial vehicles, will see these filling many stockings on Christmas morning. A new website aims to help people understand their safety responsibilities as they fly their new toys – even if it is just down at the local park.
airshare is the UAV hub for New Zealand, where people can find information they need to learn how to operate safely, join an online community to network and be part of the buzz. People with UAVs can also log where they fly – a useful feature for all UAV users, from those with small recreational UAVs to large commercial operators – and request access to controlled airspace through the website.
Developed by Airways New Zealand in close partnership with industry group UAVNZ, Callaghan Innovation and the Civil Aviation Authority, airshare is widely supported by the commercial UAV community and is now reaching out to recreational flyers.
Pauline Lamb, Airways Chief Operating Officer, says that recent technology advancements have made very powerful UAVs readily available.
“UAVs are now sophisticated enough to reach high altitudes and pose serious risks in controlled airspace. We’re asking people to always log their flights on airshare, even if they are simply taking their model helicopter for a spin locally,” she says.
“The general public really need to be aware of their responsibilities when flying UAVs. airshare helps people to quickly discover where they can fly and what they need to know. Ultimately, we’re reminding people that they are responsible for operating their drone or UAV safely.”
A quick and easy-to-use online form allows people to view maps of controlled airspace and uncontrolled aerodromes to check whether they need to request access from air traffic control or aerodrome operators, monitor their flight request status, and save favourite flights.
“Safety is key in an airspace environment, and it’s important that our air traffic controllers know what’s operating in our airspace. For everyone getting a UAV for Christmas, please take a few minutes to check out airshare.co.nz to understand the Civil Aviation Rules that you must adhere to,” says Ms Lamb.