Adelaide Airport

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has launched an investigation after a pilot reported his light aircraft came in contact with a drone prior to landing in Parafield  Airport, Adelaide.

The police were contacted right after 7:00pm on Tuesday by the pilot.

The ATSB said they would be analysing the area during Wednesday daytime to investigate any traces of drone activity before confirming it as an unmanned aerial vehicle instead of a bird.

According to CASA, if a drone posed a hazard to an aircraft by interfering with the airport landing or take off paths, it will register as an offence under its regulations.

According to Aviation law, commercial drones without a permit are prohibited from flying within 5.5 kilometres of an operational airport. Failure to conform will result in  hefty fines ranging from $900 to $9000 for flying drones above 120 metres and within 5.5 kilometres of a controlled aerodrome with an operating control tower.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said the authority has developed a free mobile app named ‘Can I fly there?‘ by collaborating with Dronecomplier. The app helps users by indicating fly/no-fly zones clearly. The app indicates various ‘caution’ zones around unregistered aerodromes where aircraft could be flying. The app is available for downloads on both Android and iOS platforms.

In March, a man faced similar charges when he was fined $1000 for flying his drone into the Eureka tower in Melbourne CBD. CASA can impose fines up to $9000 for flying a drone at an unsafe height over a populated area, which includes cities and within 5km of airports and helicopter routes.