FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

CIB tackles illegal drone flight threat

BANGKOK: The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) is stepping up its suppression of illegal drone activities, saying many drone enthusiasts don’t realise they are required by law to seek permission before flying their toys.

Bangkok Post

Monday 25 September 2017, 08:59AM

Police will control drones more tightly to curb their improper use as their popularity spreads. Photo: Creative Commons / Macomb Paynes

Police will control drones more tightly to curb their improper use as their popularity spreads. Photo: Creative Commons / Macomb Paynes

Aside from its bid to regulate drone flying, the CIB also plans to acquire a modern anti-drone device for dealing with drones which stray into prohibited zones, said Lt Gen Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak, chief of the CIB.

Large numbers of drones equipped with cameras are being flown without permission, sometimes straying into prohibited areas and controlled air space.

Their unauthorised use has led to security and privacy concerns as enthusiasts, and some with less honourable intentions, using the aerial flying vehicles to snoop on neighbours or sensitive military installations.

Drones, already popular with tourists and hobbyists, are also widely used in agriculture, parcel delivery, construction, surveying and mapping. They are also used to deliver medical supplies in remote areas as well as collect blood samples.

They are popular in Thailand, with the drone market here expected to reach B500 million this year, up from B300mn in 2015.

While not wanting to thwart their use in genuine cases where they can be of benefit to businesses or state agencies, police are nonetheless worried many people do not know they need permission to fly the devices, and are planning a crackdown on unauthorised use.

As it is still a new area, Lt Gen Thitiraj has assigned the Crime Suppression Division (CSC) to study the laws that the police may need to call on when implementing their suppression drive against unauthorised drone flying.

Police are aware of recent incidents of drones being caught while flying over the Grand Palace, some government offices, a military camp and even an airport, he said.

Approval to fly drones is required under a 2015 ministerial announcement by the Transport Ministry. The announcement also lays down rules for drone flyers in cases where permission is granted.

“They are prohibited from flying their drones into or over a hospital, security agencies, flying higher than 300 metres from the ground or violating the rights of others,” he said.

“The anti-drone device we are thinking of buying will help deal with drones which violate the ministry’s regulation,” said Lt Gen Thitiraj.

Some anti-drone interceptors overseas fire netting at drones to stop them flying. Others used high-pressure water to bring them back to earth.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has anti-drone equipment of its own.

QSI International School Phuket

It uses high radio frequencies to tackle illegally operated drones, as many drone interceptors do.

However, police believe the equipment may now be out of date, as technology in this area is evolving rapidly.

During the coming royal cremation, in particular, drone users are being warned they are prohibited from flying their drones in or near the royal cremation site, he said.

This does not include those drones which have been granted permission to be flown at the ceremony to capture aerial views of the cremation.

Maj Gen Suthin Sapphuang, chief of the CSD, said officers are preparing to use up to three laws to curb unauthorised drone flying, a 2015 Aviation Act, a 1954 Act and the Transport Ministry’s 2015 announcement.

A violation of the ministry’s announcement may also be considered a violation of the aviation law, which can result in a maximum jail sentence of one year and/or a maximum fine of B40,000, he said.

The offence will bring a more serious penalty if the drone is used to carry military hardware, other dangerous items, or animals, he said.

The ministry’s announcement says any drone weighing more than 2 kilograms but less than 25kg must be registered with the Transport Ministry and users must be at least 20 years old, he said. The age limit drops to 18 for drones lighter in weight.

A source who is a member of the team looking at the laws to be employed to curb illegal drone flying activities said police began taking the drone matter seriously after reports that some drones had been flown into military camps and other government offices.

Worse still, drones are also seen as an escalating security threat at many airports, especially because most drones are now equipped with cameras.

As for the anti-drone equipment, the source said it will work by detecting the frequency of the illegal drone and shoot it down with a high velocity water gun.

The unwanted drone also will be seized and inspected as police trace its owner who will consequently face legal action for operating a drone without permission.

Read original story here.



Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters

Editor | 26 September 2017 - 09:09:11

It appears some people attempting to post comments here may not be aware that the following increased enforcement of our comments policy already in force has been ramped up. We trust all people posting comments on our website understand... 

Due to the growing unsavoury tone of many comments posted alongside our stories, The Phuket News is now not allowing ANY comments that mention any other per...

Kurt | 25 September 2017 - 17:37:23

Article made me thinking:
Why is the Army not patrolling in the Deep South with drones instead with unprotected pick up trucks, ripped apart like sardines tins, wasting lives of soldiers, rangers, etc., if army not like to use armoured cars to protect their soldiers.

malczx7r | 25 September 2017 - 14:01:23

Whilst flying a drone over military or airports is important, I wish they'd sort out far more important issues.


Phuket community
Storm-struck Jungceylon reopens after all-night repairs

......and still you get wind speed wrong. 35 kms/hr is just over 20 mph. The gusts were approximatel...(Read More)

Police hunt mature-age jealous ex, age 51, for suspected car arson

Dangerous little man with the mentality and brain power of an 8-year old....(Read More)

Storm lashes Phuket

Seems you have made the same mistake as your competitor newspaper. Wind speeds of 16 km/hr?? Don'...(Read More)

Phuket student takes on survey of public transport, tuk-tuk and taxi fares

I applaud this students initiative and PN for their help. 50 responses should not be a problem. So...(Read More)

Thailand leads MICE surge

Did I miss something? What is this self promoting MICE thing? Passing by all the life threatening...(Read More)

Court seizes B21m more from former Pheu Thai MP, B168mn already seized

Well, some more years the tables will be turned. Then the ex junta generals go to face the same. Aft...(Read More)

Concerns over Phuket wild monkeys as they risk entering homes to steal food

It looks like deporting monkeys to these small islands is a artificial creation of quick natural sta...(Read More)

Government incapable of ending graft, says poll

This Junta Government has all the instruments to end grafts as it is strong in power by side-lining ...(Read More)

Rainbow Warrior arrives in Phuket with a clear message

"Greenpeace's unsolicited & un-needed advice?" Unsolicited, sure, the last thing ...(Read More)