negative2positive drone flight near Hokitika Airport.
Airport Manager’s Report.
Because the applicants are Part 101 pilots and the flight was to take place within 4km of the airfield, approval for the flight was required by me, the airport operator. I would subsequently be held to account in the event of a drone vs aircraft incident. Therefore, it is my standard practice that I will not approve these flights unless I am present for the entire flight and use my VHF radio to monitor airfield traffic. Flights approved under these conditions carry a cost-recovery fee.
This proposed flight was advised well in advance.
The applicant was directed to the Hokitika Airport Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) plate for airspace advice specific for Hokitika Airport.
The applicant was directed to the Hokitika Airport website for additional drone information and duly sent the required Operator Agreement / Authorisation form.
On the day of the flight, the applicant arrived at the agreed time and presented me with the following documents:
-the pre-launch safety checks
-a Google map of the site
-a risk management plan showing hazards, risks and risk-mitigation actions to be taken
-an emergency response plan
-an accident register form
-an accident investigation form
-their training and competency register
The flights went as planned, without incident. There was moderate aircraft activity within the vicinity during the flights.
Because of the good pre-flight planning and the professional attitude of this drone operator, I felt the flights were conducted in complete safety within our airport 4km zone. I would recommend their operation to anyone.
Manager, Hokitika Airport Safety Manager, Hokitika Airport