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Pilots say drones are a big risk to airline safety

Lydia Clarke
Drone  Google Images

A pilots association says it's not opposed to drones but supports Air New Zealand's call for better rules and regulations.

This comes after a near miss with a drone which came within five meters of an Air New Zealand international flight landing at Auckland airport on Sunday. 

Tim Robertson, from the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association (NZALPA), said the damage to the aircraft could be catastrophic and could bring an aircraft down. 

"We are talking about passengers lives and the safety of air transport, so it's a very high risk.

"There needs to be better education for drone users so they know the risks.

"We need something done urgently otherwise more incidents like this will keep happening," Tim Robertson said. 

The fine for drones breaching Civil Aviation rules is up to $5,000.