Improving safety will be one of the main goals of a new body joined by Raglan drone manufacturer Aeronavics.
Aeronavics co-director Linda Bulk was recently elected to the newly established Unmanned Aerial Vehicle New Zealand (UAVNZ) executive committee, having worked with other industry leaders to get it established.
“Usage has grown exponentially and the sector has grown very fast,” Bulk said. “It’s still very new and New Zealand has got this big ambition to be one of the prominent players with this new technology.”
Aviation New Zealand had formed the executive committee as a result.
“It was noted that it would be good to have an industry association or body, a group that was addressing all sorts of things,” Bulk said.
One of the key roles would include making more people aware of the regulations governing the flight of drones, both commercial and recreational.
“At this stage the Civil Aviation Authority is not seeing any difference between commercial and recreational craft. For them it does not matter if you are flying them to make money or just for fun.”
Since 2010 Bulk and co-director Mark Brouwer have led the company providing products to an international market.
Aeronavics drones are used for aerial photography, filmmaking, professional cinematography and service sector applications.
“We’re all set to connect, promote, and support the commercial UAV industry into the future,” Bulk said.
“New Zealand companies selling commercial UAV products and services need to have a reputation for professionalism, integrity and reliability.”
Adam Crouchley, of Doria Media in Hamilton, received a formal warning from the Civil Aviation Authority in May this year after flying a drone in a controlled airspace in Hamilton in 2014, without air traffic control approval and at night.
Then CAA senior communications adviser Mike Eng said, in an email, the authority expected to ramp up enforcement due to greater public awareness and a new set of rules being developed for drone flyers.