Jail, Fine for Flying Drones Illegally in Thailand

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:51 AM, September 25, 2017
  • 2835
Jail, Fine for Flying Drones Illegally in Thailand
Thailand to Crack down on illegal drones: Photo for illustration only

Flying drones over security installations, hospitals and over 300 meters will attract a one year jail sentence or a fine of 40,000 baht in Thailand.

The Thai Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) is stepping up its suppression of illegal drone activities amidst security fears. It plans to acquire an anti-drone device for dealing with drones which stray into prohibited areas, Bangkok Post said quoting Pol Lt Gen Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak, chief of the CIB.

Drone flying for purposes such as photography, survey, agriculture, delivery of medical supplies in remote areas, construction and mapping is getting increasingly popular in Thailand. The market for commercial drones has grown from 300 million Baht in 2015 to about 500 million Baht this year.

However, recent incidents of drones being caught while flying over the Grand Palace, some government offices, a military camp and even an airport have given cause to strictly implement drone regulations.

Approval to fly drones is required under a 2015 ministerial announcement by the Transport Ministry. "The anti-drone device we are thinking of buying will help deal with drones which violate the ministry's regulation," said Pol Lt Gen Thitiraj.

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.

The Thai government is preparing to use up to three laws to curb unauthorized drone flying, a 2015 Aviation Act, a 1954 Act and the Transport Ministry's 2015 announcement which says that 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.

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