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Man, 68, to be charged after allegedly flying drone to film the police’s Special Operations Command base at Queensway

Man, 68, to be charged after allegedly flying drone to film the police’s Special Operations Command base at Queensway thumbnail

SINGAPORE — A 68-year-old man will be charged in court on Friday (July 23) for alleged offences under the Air Navigation Act, following a drone sighting in the vicinity of the police’s Special Operations Command base at Queensway.

In a statement on Thursday night, the police said that they had received a report on Jan 31 regarding the sighting of an unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of the Special Operations Command near Mei Chin Road in Queenstown.

Through follow-up investigations, officers from Clementi Police Division established the identity of the Singaporean man who operated the drone.

Investigations revealed that the man had allegedly operated the drone in the vicinity of the Special Operations Command base at an altitude exceeding 200 ft above mean sea level without a permit.

He was also believed to have taken aerial view photographs and videos capturing a view of the base, which is a protected area.

The Special Operations Command comprises specialist police units to handle emergency situations, including the Special Tactics and Rescue unit which deals with hostage and rescue operations, the Police Tactical Unit responsible for maintaining public order in times of riots and the Police Ok-9 Unit.

The man will be charged with one count of prohibited photography of a protected area using an unmanned aircraft under section 7(2) of the Air Navigation Act and one count of operating an unmanned aircraft without a Class 2 activity permit, under the Air Navigation Act.

The offence of taking prohibited photography of a protected area using an unmanned aircraft  carries an imprisonment term of up to two years, a fine of up to S$50,000, or both.

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The offence of operating an unmanned aircraft without a Class 2 activity permit

carries an imprisonment term not exceeding two years, a fine not exceeding S$50,000, or both.

In their statement, the police said they will not condone the flying of an unmanned aircraft in an unsafe and irresponsible manner as it poses a risk to aviation and public safety and security.

“Members of the public are advised to adhere to regulations on the flying of unmanned aircrafts,” the police said, adding that unmanned aircraft users should refer to the OneMap.sg website or use the OneMap app to check the areas where the flying of an unmanned aircraft is not allowed unless a permit has been obtained.

Unmanned aircrafts weighing more than 250g in total must be registered before their use in Singapore.

From February this year, certain users of unmanned aircrafts must also obtain an unmanned aircraft basic training certificate (UABTC) or unmanned aircraft pilot licence (UAPL) before operating their aircraft in Singapore.

Those who do not obtain a UABTC or a UAPL may be jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$50,000, or both.

For second or subsequent offences, they are liable to be imprisoned for up to five years, fined up to S$100,000, or both.

Those who do not produce a UABTC, UAPL, operator permit or activity permit during a verification check by an enforcement officer may be fined up to S$20,000 for their first offence.

For second or subsequent offences, they may be jailed for up to 15 months, fined up to S$40,000, or both.

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