Singapore

Two men charged with flying drones without a permit

This article is more than 12 months old

Two men were yesterday charged with flying drones without a permit last year.

Neo Wei Ren, 35, allegedly operated a drone, or an unmanned aircraft (UA), over the Ministry of Defence's Gombak Base and used it to take aerial footage on several occasions, the police said on Monday night.

Lee Soon Tee, 66, allegedly operated a drone at an open field in Tampines, too close to Paya Lebar Airbase.

The police identified Neo after receiving a report about the drone flying in the vicinity of Gombak Base, a protected area.

PROTECTED AREA

Neo is said to have operated the drone from a house in Cashew Crescent seven times without the necessary permits, between May and October last year.

For allegedly taking aerial footage of Gombak Base, he was charged with four counts of prohibited photography over a protected area using a UA.

For flying a drone into the airspace above Gombak Base, he faces five counts of operating a UA over a protected area.

Neo, who also faces seven charges for operating a UA at an altitude above the regulatory height of 61m without a permit, will return to court on July 1.

The police identified Lee following a report of a drone recovered from the roof of Tampines Wafer Substation last Sept 23.

Lee, who allegedly flew the drone on Sept 22 at a field in Tampines Industrial Avenue 2, not far from Paya Lebar Airbase, was charged with operating a UA within 5km of an aerodrome without a permit.

He will return to court on June 30.

If found guilty of operating their drones without the necessary permits, both men can be fined up to $20,000.

If convicted of prohibited photography over a protected area using a UA, or of operating a UA over a protected area, Neo can be fined up to $50,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.

Those found guilty of operating a UA without the required permit can be fined up to $50,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.

The police also reminded users that recreational flying of UA outdoors during this Covid-19 reopening phase is not allowed. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME