Authorities Fail to Investigate Near-Miss of Drone and Air New Zealand Plane

April 5, 2018

When a drone flew within meters of a landing plane last week, endangering 278 passengers and crew, Air New Zealand responded by saying that such reckless drone operators should be thrown in prison.

Other agencies also chimed in. Air traffic controllers said they were concerned about the increasing numbers of drones flying illegally in controlled airspace, while regulators said flying drones into a flight path was inexcusable and the “height of stupidity.”

Yet The Associated Press has found that none of the agencies involved called or otherwise notified police about the drone. Not while it was endangering the plane, nor later to try to track down the perpetrator.

Air New Zealand didn’t call. Auckland Airport didn’t. Air traffic controllers didn’t. And the Civil Aviation Authority didn’t.

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