Skies open for drones over busy Istanbul airport

Skies open for drones over busy Istanbul airport

Skies open for drones over busy Istanbul airport An amateur drone pilot has revealed that any remote-control unmanned vehicle can freely roam the skies over a busy Istanbul airport, despite huge risks.

Turkey’s General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMİ) launched an investigation after Aspet Manukyan, an amateur drone pilot, shot 12 minute-long footage with an unmanned vehicle flying unauthorized over the Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Doğan News Agency reported Jan. 19. 

The police are conducting a separate investigation.

Manukyan deleted the video from YouTube after reactions, and claimed to have shot the footage to reveal the lack of air traffic safety. 

“The GPS system on the drone does not permit filming over airports. It automatically turns off. I wanted to try it, but saw that the GPS was not turned off. I had no bad intentions,” he said.

Speaking to Doğan News Agency, retired pilot Nuri Sakarya slammed the authorities for allowing the flight of an unauthorized aircraft near the control tower. 

“No foreign object should be able to come closer than 10 kilometers. This is air traffic terrorism which could cause a serious danger as the drone could have hit an airplane,” said Sakarya.

Meanwhile, Sefa İnan, a retired Turkish Airlines technician, said the sale of drones should be regulated. “There should be directives. Any person can buy and fly a drone anywhere now; this should be stopped,” İnan added.