Wagga drone enthusiasts have urged fellow users to “be sensible” and comply with flight regulations in private and public spaces.
It follows an incident in December last year during which an Ashmont resident found a drone loitering inside her property and contacted police.
Wagga Neighbourhood Watch president and drone enthusiast Wayne Deaner said technological advancements and reduced product prices presented new challenges to users and residents.
“I’ve only recently started playing with drones but it can be very concerning when they fly over your house or hover nearby,” he said.
“I’ve got a few myself but some of the bigger and more expensive drones have high quality cameras and a large flight range, which can be disconcerting.”
The Australian government’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority clearly outlines flight restrictions for recreational drone users, such as not flying above 120 metres in all locations and not flying within 30 metres of other people.
However, Mr Deaner believes people must familiarise themselves with these restrictions and report any suspicious drone activity immediately.
“We’ve heard of drones flying into people’s sheds and hovering around properties and that kind of activity is not on,” he said.
“You can’t fly drones in most places around Wagga due to the airport, the helipads and Kapooka.
“If you see any around the house, I would be contacting police immediately, particularly if the drone is flying low and around residential properties.”
Wagga Model Aero Club president BJ Padman is heavily involved in the drone scene and believes retailers should be held to greater account for improper use.
“We fly drones exclusively club grounds, alleviating any issues of public concern,” he said.
“I personally, however, have found the retailers aren’t passing on the CASA recommendations and guidelines to buyers.”
Mr Padman said point-of-sale education would help prevent new drone users to comply with flight restrictions and ensure hobbyists can keep on flying.
“There’s plenty of information available and we want people to be sensible so we can continue to enjoy drones without further restrictions.”
“These are not toys and retailers should be making that very clear to first-time purchasers.”