NUS Student who used drone at NTU to snap pictures of his “girlfriend” fined $5,000

NUS_Student_Fined_For_Flying Drone.

A student who violated drone laws by flying a drone at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to capture pictures of his girlfriend and her friend was fined $5,000 by a court on Monday, October 10.

According to Channel News Asia, 25-year old Xu Zi Zhou pleaded guilty to one count of operating an unmanned aircraft without a valid activity permit within 5km of Tengah aerodrome.

Another two charges relating to unmanned aircraft operations regulations were taken into consideration.

The court was informed that on May 28, 2021, Xu purchased a DJI Mavic Air 2 drone from the internet marketplace Shopee.

The 25-year-old China national was on a student pass, he took the “568.5g” drone and carried out a few test flights around the National University of Singapore, where he was studying.

On June 1st, 2021, Xu went to NTU’s Yunnan Garden with his girlfriend and one of her friends. Xu took pictures and videos of his girlfriend and her friend there using the drone.

The drone was spotted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) that day at around 4.30 p.m. while it was within 5 km of the Tengah aerodrome and flying at a maximum altitude of 518.37 feet (158m) above mean sea level.

CAAS officers dispatched to Yunnan Garden saw Xu operating the drone and asked him to land it.

Based on the flight logs of the drone, Xu had flown it five times that day with a total flight time of 18 minutes, CNA reported.

According to CAAS’ regulations, a Class 2 activity permit is required for unmanned aircraft activities performed outdoors under various conditions.

These include: If the drone is to be used for recreational purposes and is 25kg or below in total mass, if the flight is within 5km of any civil aerodrome or military airbase and if the drone is flown at an altitude of higher than 200 feet above mean sea level.

Xu could have been jailed for a maximum of two years, fined up to $50,000, or both for his offence.

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