The Australian Certified UAV Operators Association (ACUO) is calling for the current Federal Government Aviation Safety Regulation Review to back a harder line to combat the growing problem of illegal unmanned aircraft operations.
The call comes as the ACUO released its submission to the review in light of a recent reported near-miss incident involving a Westpac rescue helicopter and an unknown UAV operating at 1000ft.
The submission calls for new resourcing to be provided to CASA to deal specifically with illegal UAS operations, and warns that the outlook facing the Australian unmanned aircraft industry has strong parallels with the rise of commercial aviation in Australia during the 1920s and 1930s, where a high rate of incidents included loss of human life.
“Under resourcing of the regulatory and compliance management capacities of CASA is not an option as the unmanned aircraft industry continues its rapid growth in not just Australia, but internationally” said Joe Urli, ACUO President in a statement. “Illegal unmanned aircraft operations are on the rise in Australia and the question of whether they will be a serious safety incident is no longer theoretical given last weeks reported near-miss incident involving a Westpac rescue helicopter flying back to its Newcastle base.”
The full ACUO submission to the review can be downloaded at http://www.acuo.org.au/