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SA drone warning after aircraft ‘near-misses’

SA Police are warning the public to obey laws about recreational drone use, following reports of  “several near-miss incidents with aircraft”.

Feb 02, 2024, updated Feb 02, 2024
Recreational drone users are required to follow certain aviation laws. Photo: AP

Recreational drone users are required to follow certain aviation laws. Photo: AP

SA Police said reports had been received from across the state about drones being flown too close to both aircraft and people, in a violation of laws regulating drone use.

“Recently police have received reports from across the State of incidents where drones were flown too close to aircraft and people during crowded events,” it said.

“Though accidents with were narrowly avoided in reports, the increase of drone use requires a reminder about the rules.”

InDaily asked for details of such incidents from SA Police but was referred to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which issues drone safety regulations. CASA provided no recent examples.

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Rules for recreational drone use include not flying higher than 120 metres above ground level, keeping a minimum of 30 metres away from people, not flying above events or areas such as beaches, ovals, festivals, or sporting events, and for some, flying a minimum of 5.5 kilometres away from airports.

People in breach of the rules may receive fines of up to $1565, or $15,650 if the matter is taken to court.

Drone users can download CASA verified drone safety apps to provide further information on where they can or cannot fly according to aviation legislation.

Members of the public can report drone usage which they believe may have been in breach of the drone safety rules to CASA.

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