The number of aviation incidents in New Zealand involving drones has grown from just one in 2011 to more than 50 in the first six months of 2015.
Here’s the annual breakdown for the past five years.
Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA) spokesperson Mike Eng told Business Insider an incident was defined as an accident or a flight which can be shown to be dangerous. i.e. a risk to the safety of people or property.
“The incidents range from unmanned aircraft crashing into buildings such as hotels and private residences, and flights that have endangered people and property,” he said.
“None of these accidents have involved collisions with other aircraft or people on the ground.”
Eng attributed the increased number of incidents to the rapidly growing popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in New Zealand.
He said New Zealand is seen by many international drone developers as an ideal place for drone research and development given the relatively uncluttered airspace, a progressive, risk-based regulatory regime and a culture of innovation.
“There are numerous sectors which are looking at increasing the use of unmanned aircraft operation to enhance business productivity and profitability including agriculture, real-estate, and television and film production,” Eng said.