Sky isn't the limit for drone

Sky TV's drone camera. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Sky TV's drone camera. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Sky TV's drone camera has been grounded until the Cricket World Cup following a run in with another aerial vehicle in Dunedin.

Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way confirmed yesterday the drone would not be seen again in New Zealand until the global cricket tournament began in Christchurch on February 14.

The ''pause'' would give Sky time to tighten health and safety and other processes relating to the drone's use, she said.

''There's a few processes that we're just reflecting on and making sure that we're operating everything properly, but you will see it again.

''There's absolutely plans to use it for the Cricket World Cup,'' she said.

The decision followed an incident in Dunedin on Friday when Sky's drone was competing for airspace with a privately operated ''toy drone'' launched from nearby Logan Park.

The incident occurred just before the start of the Black Caps' one day international match against Sri Lanka, played before nearly 5000 fans at University Oval.

Ms Way said the incident was among the reasons Sky had decided to review its use of the drone.

''That's just one of those situations that we want to be more prepared for in how to deal with that.''

Since its launch, the drone camera has delivered spectacular aerial panoramas of the grounds and their surroundings to television audiences in New Zealand and overseas.

Friday's incident in Dunedin came after the drone was attacked by seagulls on the second day of the second test between the Black Caps and Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

It was also prevented from flying at Eden Park on January 17 because there was no health and safety plan for its safe operation.

-chris.morris@odt.co.nz

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