After the former lawmaker Tsang Kin-shing was accused of trying to disrupt the visit of state leader Zhang Dejiang with a drone, the police have announced that it will break overhead drones by jamming their signals if they go anywhere near state leader Zhang Dejiang during his visit to the city. The revelation became more prominent after Shenzhen police busted a drone plot on Sunday, May 15, 2016, two days ahead of Zhang’s arrival.
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The officers on ground are alleging that the former lawmaker Tsang Kin-shing, now a member of the League of Social Democrats, ordered a drone from the mainland and used it to disrupt Zhang’s visit. However, Tsang responded by saying the drone was for a different protest.
A police source admitted that the force had already considered technical options to stop drones trying to fly around the security zones.
“Police have looked into some devices that could release frequency signal and make such drones land immediately,” says the source, adding that officers from the Operations Wing had investigated such options about six months earlier.
According to the source, there is a ban on any flying objects during Zhang’s visit as the force had placed “counter-terrorism security measures.” The expected state leader will be staying in the city from Tuesday through Thursday.
However, the averted plot had sparked several debates on the legality of using a drone to protest on normal days.
Understandably, though, the Hong Kong police were unlikely to pursue any follow-up actions against Tsang, since the purchase and even the use of drone in Hong Kong were both legitimate.
But the source warned that operators might break other rules if preventive measures are not taken against indiscriminate users of drones.
“Flying unmanned aircraft is not unlawful,” said the source. “If explosive chemicals or weapons, instead of a camera, were hanged on the apparatus, that would be another story.”
The source then added that if the aircraft harms a person, damages a car, or causes a traffic accident by flying too low, the operator will still face charges such as wounding or damaging property.
As the law stipulates, flying unmanned aircraft systems weighing no more than 7 kg requires no prior permission from the Civil Aviation Department. Meanwhile, operators are still governed by the aviation order and should not allow an aircraft to endanger any person or property.
The devices are also banned from the vicinity of the airport to avoid any interception that may result in avoidable human and property losses.
Thus, there is need for responsible uses of drones by users. They should follow the rules and regulations that will guarantee safety of lives and properties. And strict punishment of offenders will also ensure the continuous adherence to rules and regulations.