Saturday 20 August 2016 9:08am
A near miss incident between a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) a.k.a. "drone" and a passenger plane in Queenstown triggered surveying PhD student Todd Redpath to use his skills in GIS and web-mapping. Todd used the coordinates of aerodromes listed in the published by Aeronautical Information Pulication (AIP) New Zealand as well as airports footprints published by LINZ to quickly develop a simple app to map and make easy to visualize the 4km buffer around airports where RPAS are not allowed to fly without authorization.
The app named Don't drone here was developed with the ArcGIS online system that provides a quick and efficient way to share geographical information. The app can be used on any mobile device with internet access and from which it can benefit from real-time geolocation information (GPS) to identify where the user is and quickly check if he/she is not breaching the 4km rule around aerodromes.
Although the app does not show other kind of airspace such as Control Zone (CTR) and Control Area (CTA) where the use of RPAS is also restricted and that RPAS users should be familiar with before flying, it would at least provide a practical way for users to assess quickly whether they are about to fly too close from an aerodrome. This is all the more important as RPAS users often ignore the location of nearby aerodrome such as helipads found on or near hospitals.