Tourist warned over drone use

Haast Senior Constable Paul Gurney has advised the public to call 111 if a drone is sighted operating near an airport after a tourist flew a drone over a hangar.

On Monday, helicopter operators at Fox Glacier spotted a drone flying over a hangar and aircraft on the ground.

The drone was followed by helicopter staff and the operator located at a nearby motel. Police took possession of the drone.

“A 73-year-old Chinese man was officially warned for operating a unmanned drone in a manner which caused unnecessary danger to helicopters.

"Efforts are being made to step up information and warnings to visiting tourists about where they can fly drones in Fox Glacier. Franz Josef has large signs at the northern and southern State Highway approaches to the area."

It is illegal to fly any Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) within 4km of any aerodrome (unless certain conditions are met). More information can be found on where you can fly a drone on the Civil Aviation Authority website.

Police advise the public to ring 111 in the first instance if a drone is spotted near airports or aircraft bases and pass on any information about where the operator of the drone is located if possible.

More: More drones in the air?

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