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Man to be charged for taking aerial photographs of Woodlands Checkpoint, flying unmanned aircraft without a permit

Man to be charged for taking aerial photographs of Woodlands Checkpoint, flying unmanned aircraft without a permit

File photo of the Woodlands Checkpoint.

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man will be charged on Wednesday (Dec 30) for alleged offences under the Air Navigation Act, including taking aerial photographs of Woodlands Checkpoint on several occasions.

The 42-year-old man also operated an unmanned aircraft on multiple occasions without a permit, said the police in a news release on Tuesday.

The police said they received a report on Apr 5 this year after an unmanned aircraft was sighted in the vicinity of Woodlands Checkpoint.

Through follow-up investigations, Woodlands Police Division officers identified the man who had operated the unmanned aircraft.

Further investigations revealed that the man had allegedly operated the unmanned aircraft near Woodlands Checkpoint at an altitude exceeding 200 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) without a permit.

He had also allegedly taken aerial view photographs of Woodlands Checkpoint, which is a protected area, on three separate occasions this year – Mar 20, Apr 3 and Apr 5.

The police added that the man had also allegedly operated an unmanned aircraft at an altitude exceeding 200 feet AMSL without a permit at Mount Pleasant Road on Feb 27.

The man faces seven charges under the Air Navigation Act. Each offence carries a fine of up to S$50,000, an imprisonment term of up to two years, or both.

READ: Man charged with illegally flying drone to take pictures of MINDEF's Gombak Base, Gali Batu Depot

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 were also advised to adhere to regulations on the flying of unmanned aircraft, especially during the year-end festive celebrations.

“Members of the public who witness any unauthorised unmanned aircraft activity are advised to report their observations to the police.”

READ: 20 illegal drone intrusions into Changi Airport airspace in last 3 months: Teo Chee Hean

Unmanned aircraft users should refer to the website or use the OneMap app to check the areas where the flying of such aircraft is not allowed unless a permit has been obtained. 

Any unmanned aircraft with a total mass of above 250g must be registered before it can be operated in Singapore.

READ: Singapore's drone sector takes off with more potential for range of uses: Industry players

From Feb 1 next year, certain unmanned aircraft users will also need to obtain an unmanned aircraft basic training certificate (UABTC) or unmanned aircraft pilot licence (UAPL) before they operate their aircraft in Singapore.

Those who do not produce a UABTC, UAPL, operator permit or activity permit during a verification check by a Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore enforcement officer face a maximum fine of S$20,000 for their first offence. 

Repeat offenders face a fine of up to S$40,000 and/or up to 15 months’ jail.


Source: CNA/zl


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