Kiama is one of five locations along the NSW coast where the last testing of a drone-based shark spotting pilot program is being undertaken.
The three month trial started at the end of September as part of the New South Wales Government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy.
“The trial will use private contractors who are experienced CASA-certified pilots to fly the drones from headland vantage points for one hour in the morning every Thursday, Friday and Sunday until mid-December,” says Gareth Ward MP.
“The drones will fly a 3.5-4km circuit at a height of 60m and at a speed of 40km per hour to provide aerial surveillance and real time vision of the area.
“If a shark is spotted, beach authorities will be advised and if the shark is close to people, an air horn or siren will be sounded.
“The trials will continue in all weather conditions to determine the effectiveness of this type of aerial surveillance for shark detection.”
This is the third phase of the pilot, following other successful drone trials in Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.