The changes came after a sharp rise in UAV incidents. Between 2007 and 2015, the number of incidents rose from 2 to 52.
That looks like some obfuscatory PR.
Bruce: any facts and figures you can tell us about those so-called UAV incidents?
First-up, I just noticed while researching this that caa.govt.nz
doesn't work, you *must* use the "www" prefix. WTF? This is 2017, surely they understand that *both* should work? Oh no, that's right, we're talking about a taxpayer-funded bureaucracy, they don't have to understand a damned thing
Firstly, you must understand that CAA tends to "fudge" figures to suit its agendas.
For example, in March/April 2016 edition of Vector magazine
(see page 13), CAA boldly and authoritatively claimed that there were 198 incidents involving drones during the 2015 year.
However, when an independent third party vetted the reports, they discovered that a great many of them were duplications and later, on page 25 of the July/August 2016 edition of Vector
, CAA was forced to make an embarrassing correction and admit that there were in fact only 121 unique incident reports filed.
Clearly, either CAA doesn't actually do anything but collect and count allegations without any kind of analysis, or they'd simply rather inflate the figures until caught out by an independent third party.
Also, on closer inspection, a very significant proportion of these "incidents" contain statements such as:
* RPAS operated over private property without consent
* Concern regarding real-estate photographer
* Concern regarding RPAS near complainant's house
* RPAS operation concern
* Concern that drone was operated over DOC property
* Alleged illegal drone flight
* Testing a new battery, there was a popping sound and the motors failed. Settled on to soft grass.
* Took off from rear of boat and ascended to 20ft while flying away from vessel and towards operating area. After approximately 10 seconds and 0m of horizontal travel the right front propellor came away from the motor causing the aircraft to spiral out of control and plunge into the ocean.
None of these are proven violations of the rules or cases of endangerment and many, many of the listed "incidents" consist solely of these descriptions.
Also, if you look at the minimal number of fines/prosecutions that CAA has brought, it's clear that very, very few of the incidents were valid or of sufficient severity to merit such action.