Man warned over drone at SEA Games

A 55-year-old man was given a stern warning after he was caught flying a drone near the National Stadium.

He had been using the unmanned aircraft to take photos of the fireworks at the closing ceremony of the 28th South-east Asian Games last Tuesday. Police caught him operating the drone without a permit in Kallang Riverside Park close to 9pm.

Flying a drone in a designated Special Event Area such as the National Stadium is an offence under the Public Order Act.

The man could have been fined up to $20,000, jailed up to 12 months, or both.

A police statement yesterday said: "Flying an unmanned aircraft near a fireworks area is especially dangerous and can cause severe harm to members of the public who are watching the fireworks."

The use of drones was the subject of debate in Parliament last month, when a new law regulating their use was passed.

Under the Unmanned Aircraft (Public Safety and Security) Bill, which kicked in at the start of this month, operators need a permit to fly a drone that weighs more than 7kg, as well as for commercial purposes such as taking pictures of an outdoor wedding.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said 20 incidents involving drones have been reported since April last year, including two instances when drones dropped on MRT tracks after their operators lost control of them.

Two days ago, a Woodlands resident, in a posting on citizen journalism platform Stomp, complained about a man he had spotted repeatedly operating a drone near his block of flats. The man had failed to show him a permit for the drone, he wrote.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2015, with the headline 'Man warned over drone at SEA Games'. Print Edition | Subscribe