Concerns over unsafe drone flights near airport

The Chief Commissioner of the PNG Accident Investigation Commission has raised serious concerns over the illegal operation of drones near the Jackson’s International Airport.

Hubert Namani said: “I have received a report of at least one UAV/drone very recently being operated from a house or houses within Kennedy Estate, Eight-Mile.

“The UAV was observed operating above light post height to an undetermined height.

“Kennedy Estate is less than 2km from the Jackson’s airport boundary and under the Runway 14L flight path. This presents a significant safety risk and danger to aircraft and the travelling public, as well as to the residents of Kennedy Estate.”

Namani said he has requested the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and NAC to seek the assistance of the Royal PNG Constabulary (RPNGC) to investigate this significant safety risk.

“Unauthorised drone operations near any airport is a safety risk and danger to the travelling public,” Namani stressed.

He called on the PNG radio, television and print media as a matter of civic duty to assist the PNG aviation and civil regulatory and enforcement authorities to stop these illegal and unsafe practices.

He urged PNG unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) retailers to ensure they work with CASA PNG to supply education and warning documentation with each UAV sold in PNG.

“Most recent dangerous situation in Gatwick Airport is a salient reminder that urgent steps must be taken by PNG regulatory and enforcement agencies before we are faced with investigating a major tragedy.”

Flights at UK’s second biggest airport were disrupted for more than a day after drones were spotted flying over the airfield on Wednesday.

Operations were suspended for safety reasons.

Press release