Flyers of camera drones warned they may face legal action

The Royal Thai Air Force has threatened to take legal action against flyers of camera drones who took images of facilities or buildings in RTAF areas, Air Vice Marshal Pongsak Semachai, the RTAF spokesman, said Thursday (Aug 10).

He disclosed that the RTAF had recently found out that there were some people who flew camera drones in Don Mueang area and took images of the airport and then posted the images in the social media.

He noted that RTAF territory was deemed strategic area and trespassing the area by drones was regarded as a violation of the law.  He said air force officials were empowered to examine the images taken by camera drones and if it was discovered that the images concerned national secrets, the drone flyers would face legal action.

ACM Pongsak said Air Force commander-in-chief ACM Jom Rungsawang had instructed authorities concerned to make sure that no drones were allowed in the RTAF air space.

He insisted that the RTAF had the right to bring down violating drones by using jammer to interrupt the communication signer between the crafts and the handlers.

He warned drone flyers to study the law governing drones and to keep their drones at least about nine kilometres from the RTAF territory and that their drones must not fly more than 90 meter or 300 feet above the ground.

Last week, a man who was believed to be a pilot of a commercial airline post in his Facebook page warning his fellow pilots to be aware of drones in the sky over Don Mueang airpot.

He said he himself found one drone flying about 3,000 feet above ground and only about 20 meters from the wingtip of his plane as he was departing Don Mueang airport for China.