Extensive use of drones endangers flight safety: ministry

Extensive use of drones endangers flight safety: ministry

A technician flew a drone for paddy seedling in Sidoarjo District, East Java. (Doc. ANTARA PHOTO)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Transportation Ministry has witnessed that enormous growth in the use of drones has begun to pose a hindrance and imperil flight safety.

"Several cases have come to light of drones flying around the airport, while the area should be free from activities, except for legal flights," Polana B. Pramesti, the ministry's Director General of Air Transportation, stated at a discussion on drone management here on Tuesday.

Pramesti noted that initially, drones were used for military purposes as well as a hobby, such as for photography and selfie. Drone use has steadily grown, as it is sold freely in the market.

Drones are also frequently deployed in the commercial sector for effective and efficient distribution of goods.

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"For distribution to remote areas, which is more costly and time-consuming, drone is the best solution," Pramesti pointed out.

She called on the public to gain a proper understanding of the regulation to fly drones, including the restriction in terms of the altitude and area.

Pramesti cited the example of unauthorized drone flying in the area that had prompted flight disruptions at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

At I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali, a pilot had reportedly spotted a drone flying in the airspace only permitted for licensed flights.

The government has issued Ministerial Decree No. 180 of 2015 as amended by Ministerial Decree No. 47 of 2016 to ensure flight safety over drone use.

In line with the regulation, drones are not permitted to fly above 150 meters. All operators of drones for commercial use and intended to be flown over 150 meters above ground level should register their drone and pilot to secure a flying license from the Directorate General of Air Transportation.

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