“ O U R P R I M A R Y F O C U S I S T O E N S U R E S A F E I N T E G R A T I O N O F U A V S I N T O T H E E X I S T I N G A V I A T I O N S Y S T E M , A C R O S S B O T H C O N T R O L L E D A N D U N C O N T R O L L E D A I R S P A C E . ”
AERODROME SAFETY With an average of two unauthorised drone sightings currently reported per week in controlled airspace, it is critical that Airways has the ability to detect and track drones to prevent collisions with other aircraft – particularly in the approach areas of New Zealand’s major airports. Drone detection technology is rapidly advancing and finding the right solution is proving to be a global challenge. We are currently trialling technologies that will positively detect UAVs around airports and track their flight path. Our investigations included a trial of two drone detection systems at Auckland International Airport to analyse and gain a deeper understanding of the technology. We discovered that each technology has unique benefits and have identified that multiple systems may be needed simultaneously to validate and improve drone detection reliability.
NAT I ONAL UAV I NFRASTRUCTURE National UAV infrastructure will lay the foundation for safe and efficient beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations and will ensure airspace is safe and optimised as UAV traffic increases. In early 2019 AirShare led field trials at Bethells Beach, Auckland, of technologies that could support BVLOS operations. Tests were undertaken to identify if the LTE mobile phone network and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology could be used as a way to provide command and control capability, and greater situational awareness. The findings of these trials, undertaken in partnership with Spark, Auckland Council and drone company X-Craft, will be used to develop and promote processes and systems for safely managing UAV flights that cannot be directly observed by the operator. The findings and recommendations from AirShare’s trial will be presented back to a cross-government working group involving Airways, AirShare, CAA, MBIE and MOT.
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