New Zealand’s air traffic services provider Airways will join other aviation experts from around the country tomorrow at an event to collaborate on challenges and opportunities facing the unmanned aircraft industry.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are an increasingly common sight in New Zealand skies, and Airways is taking a lead role to help keep our skies safe as this rapidly growing technology takes hold. Airways’ Head of Policy, Standards and Safety Improvement, Mike Haines, will speak at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s symposium on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems about what the organisation is doing to integrate UAVs into airspace.
Mr Haines says the introduction of UAVs into New Zealand airspace is a game changer for the aviation industry and a key challenge for Airways which controls New Zealand’s 30 million square kilometres of airspace.
“Safety in the skies is our biggest priority, which is why we’re keen to be a proactive and responsible industry partner for UAV operations. We’re using our extensive New Zealand aviation knowledge and expertise to help develop the safest possible environment for these aircraft and support the safe and successful integration of UAVs into our airspace,” he says.
Airways has developed the website www.airshare.co.nz in conjunction with the CAA, Callaghan Innovation and industry group UAVNZ, to help UAV owners and operators understand their safety responsibilities as they fly their aircraft. The website is an online community where people can find information on how to operate their UAVs safely, log their flights, request access to controlled airspace, share photos and videos, and view dynamic aerodrome and airspace maps.
“While there are plenty of challenges in safely introducing UAVs into our airspace, we also see many opportunities,” Mr Haines says.
“We can apply our knowledge of processes and procedures in controlled airspace to help integrate UAVs into uncontrolled areas, and we’re taking a leading role in industry development – helping New Zealand to become a world leader in this space,” Mr Haines says.
The symposium is being held in Masterton in the lead-up to the Wings over Wairarapa airshow this weekend. Airways staff will showcase the airshare website at the airshow.