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Published on Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Air New Zealand demands tougher action against drones



Air New Zealand has called for stricter drone regulations after a near-miss encounter at Auckland Airport.


An arriving 777-200 plane carrying 278 passengers and crew was touching down when it came within just five metres of the drone.


The airline says it is the second such incident this month.


The airline is demanding tougher rules and stringent penalties for violators.


"NZ92 was just metres away from a serious incident on Sunday. The pilots spotted the drone at a point in the descent where it was not possible to take evasive action," said chief operations and integrity standards officer Captain David Morgan.


"It passed so close to the incoming aircraft that they were concerned it may have been ingested into the engine."


Morgan is advocating prison sentences for drone operators in the case of 'life-threating incidents.'


Earlier this month, an errant drone entered Auckland Airport's controlled airspace, causing flight operations to be curtailed for about 30 minutes.


About 20 flights had to delay landings, while one Air New Zealand flight was forced to divert.


 

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