Keep drones away from historic flight

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VH-OJA flew non-stop from London to Sydney in 1989. Image: Flickr | Aero Icarus CC BY 2.0

CASA is urging drone owners in Illawarra to keep clear of the regional airport on Sunday as a Qantas 747 makes it historic last flight on Sunday 8 March.

After almost 25 years of service, VH-OJA, a Boeing 747-400 will land for the final time at Albion Park, with Qantas giving the aircraft to the Historical Aviation Restoration Society.

The event is likely to attract plenty of media attention as well as interest from the general public, but CASA is reminding drone owners not to fly during the event.

‘Drones must not be operated anywhere near the Illawarra Airport before, during or after the 747 flight,’ said a CASA spokesperson. ‘People should not fly drones within 5.5 kilometres of an airport at any time.’

CASA has declared a temporary restriction of airspace from 7:30am to 8:30am this Sunday that will create unoccupied airspace for the last stage of the flight from Canberra into the Illawarra Airport.

The temporary restricted airspace covers an eight nautical mile circle around the Illawarra Airport—to Kiama in the south, Macquarie Pass in the west and Mt Kembla in the north. Port Kembla and central parts of Wollongong are inside the restricted area.

It also includes a straight section out to the east over the ocean from central Wollongong that will be the aircraft’s path of arrival.

The temporary restricted airspace is in place from the ground up to 4500 feet above mean sea level.

CASA says they will have inspectors present at the Illawarra Airport on Sunday to monitor the safety of the 747 operation.

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