Myanmar authorities have charged two foreign journalists, a local freelancer who works as an interpreter and their driver for allegedly flying drones illegally over and around the government’s parliament buildings, police said Sunday.
Mok Choy Lin, a Malaysian, and Lau Hon Meng, a Singaporean, journalists for Turkish Radio and Television, were detained along with their local interpreter and freelance journalist Aung Naing Soe after flying drones over the parliament building on Friday, police said.
The four were charged under the Export and Import Law and face up to three years in prison if found guilty, police said, adding that a trial would begin at the end of a 15-day remand.
Controllers get calls when drone pilots want approval to fly within 5 miles of an airport — and with an average of 250 reported close encounters per month, it’s clear that some aren’t even bothering with the formalities. The FAA has clearly had enough of this, as it recently made an emergency request to bypass the usual regulations and use an automate system to approve drone flights in restricted airspace. Instead of waiting 2-3 months for clearance (or calling in at the last possible moment), you could get the A-OK within 5 minutes.
Aeroscope will operate on the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz Wi-Fi bands and broadcast each drone’s “position, altitude, direction and speed, make and model, serial number, and any additional ID info that pilots wants to provide,” DJI’s policy veep Brendan Schulman told us this afternoon in Brussels. “Additional ID info” could include things such as the drone’s registration number, if that was a requirement, or contact details for the pilot if he wanted to include that.
Conceptually, the system will operate in the same manner as manned aviation TCAS (traffic collision and avoidance systems), albeit on Wi-Fi bands rather than the 1.3GHz frequency reserved for TCAS. This, DJI told us, is because its drones are already fitted with Wi-Fi radios and using those bands avoids the problem of a hardware upgrade across hundreds of thousands of customer devices.
The City of Newton, MA, like many state and local governments, thought it could regulate drone flights in the airspace over its city limits. It passed a law this past December that sought to ban unmanned aircraft flights below 400 feet, flights over private and public property without the landowner’s permission and to require local registration of drones. A federal judge in Massachusetts ruled today that the City of Newton was wrong : it does not have that authority because it is preempted by the federal government.
DJI Technology, the maker of popular consumer drones including its Phantom line, is developing a new offline mode that it says will help it sell to privacy-conscious enterprise and government customers.
The move comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Army ordered its staff to stop using the Chinese manufacturer’s drones due to “cyber vulnerabilities.”
The company’s pilot app connects to its servers to do things like updating maps and real-time information about flight restrictions that exist in certain areas. However, this connection may put off buyers who have high security requirements around their drone usage.
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A light plane most likely hit a bat when coming in to land at Adelaide’s Parafield Airport and not a drone as first thought, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has said.
Earlier this month, a pilot reported hitting what he thought was a drone when landing at the airport in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.
“After landing, the instructor conducted an inspection of the aircraft and found minor damage to the right wing,”
The Los Angeles City Council cleared the way Friday for the fire department to start using drones during its efforts in fighting fires and responding to other emergencies, although it will need to seek a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration first.
Drones operated by municipalities have proved to be controversial. The Los Angeles Police Department received two donated drones in 2014 but has dropped any current plans to deploy them due to public objections.
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