The Border’s Morning News reported a near miss at the regional Albury Airport in NSW. The plane was approaching the runway of the airport when the pilot spotted the drone close by. Thankfully a major accident was averted.
Police sources were told that just after 3.45pm on 14th Sunday 2018, a commercial aircraft was approaching Albury airport when the pilot observed a grey and white drone approximately 100ft below. The Albury airport control tower was notified and other aircraft alerted of the drone in restricted airspace. The aircraft landed safely and CASA were also notified of the incident. Officers from Murray River Police District attended and conducted patrols; however, the operator has not been located yet.
Albury airport, which also serves Albury’s adjacent sister city of Wodonga, Victoria was the fifth busiest in New South Wales as of 2016.
The Police have appealed for public assistance to help investigate the incident further. As inquiries continue, police are appealing for anyone who may have been flying a drone in the Mungabareena Reserve Area, or anyone with information and contact police via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
At the same time reminders have been put out for drone operators yet again about restrictions when operating near aerodromes.
- You must keep your drone at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes (usually those with a control tower)
- You may fly within 5.5km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site (HLS) only if manned aircraft are not operating to or from the aerodrome. If you become aware of manned aircraft operating to or from the aerodrome/ HLS, you must manoeuvre away from the aircraft and land as soon as safely possible. This includes:
- not operating your drone within the airfield boundary (*without approval)
- not operating your drone in the approach and departure paths of the aerodrome (*without approval)
More information is available on: https://www.casa.gov.au/modelaircraft
The police authorities have requested that anyone with information about this incident should contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information given will be treated in strict confidence, the police have assured. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.