4 Unauthorised Drones ‘Shot Down’ By Cops At Dataran Merdeka, Culprits To Face Hefty Punishment
Four unauthorised drones were reportedly spotted and subsequently shot down by members the Drone Unit of the Bukit Aman Police Air Force during the Independence Day celebration which took place at Dataran Merdeka.
As punishment for disobeying the strict no-fly order, the owner(s) of the devices now run the risk of facing a fine of up to RM500,000 or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both; under Section 4 of the Civil Aviation Act 1969, as stated byThe Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).
A total of four members of the Drone Unit were stationed within an area filled with numerous spectators, including dignitaries, tasked to closely monitor any movement of unmanned aircrafts hovering in the air.
As soon as the unit confirmed that the drones were not backed by a CAAM flight permit, the team immediately brought the aircrafts down by turning off their remote control frequency.
The move to ban drones in the area is an attempt to avoid any unwanted accidents involving public safety including the possibility of them crashing, hitting and harming spectators; as well as averting the possibility of an accident if it collides with Royal Malaysian Air Force aircrafts which were seen flying in low formation across the capital city.
Furthermore, the Bukit Aman Complex, which houses the national police headquarters, is strictly a no-fly zone for drones at all times.
“The people are reminded that all drone operation activities are also subject to the Civil Aviation Act 1969 as well as the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 2016,” read the CAAM statement.
Meanwhile, the police officers confirmed that the owner(s) of the drones will be investigated and further action will be taken in the near future. The agency has already gazetted over 2,000 areas across the country as no-drone zones, especially in high-surveillance locations such as the National Palace, to date.
Also listed as no-fly areas are military bases, police headquarters, airports, government buildings, electricity substation structures and telecommunication transmission towers.
CAAM also proactively tracked down drone owners without a permit who uploaded video recordings or photos through social media platforms, in addition to acting on complaints from the public themselves.
This follows many previous cases of serious injuries reported as a result of drones crashing due to technical problems or control failures, in addition to nearly causing collisions and damage to other aircrafts.