Drone-filled skies an emerging headache

Two drones have landed in South Korea in two weeks. This was found on Baengnyeong. Photo / AP

Aviation safety authorities have been urged to clamp down on Australia’s burgeoning unmanned aerial vehicle market after near-misses with other aircraft and video footage showing dangerous flights above densely populated areas.

Last week a Westpac rescue helicopter narrowly missed a midair collision with an illegally operated drone above Newcastle and last year a UAV crashed into Sydney Harbour Bridge, sparking a counter-terrorism alert.

Another drone triggered safety alerts near Adelaide after its operator lost control in restricted airspace, and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority blasted illegal operators who flew drones near waterbombers and low above the heads of firefighters battling last November’s Blue Mountains fires.

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