Man fined NT$600,000 for flying drone into restricted area

A Taiwanese man has failed in his appeal against a NT$600,000 (about US$20,000) fine from the Civil Aeronautics Administration for flying a drone into a restricted area twice.

A Taiwanese man has failed in his appeal against a NT$600,000 fine from the Civil Aeronautics Administration for flying a drone into a restricted area

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—A Taiwanese man has failed in his appeal against a NT$600,000 (aboutUS$20,000) fine from the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) for flying a drone into a restricted area twice.   

PhotoFast CEO Warren Wang (王龍文) said he will not appeal against the court decision.

Wang had also faced an allegation of prying into the secrets of national defense, which was later dismissed by prosecutors.

Wang said the drone flew out of the balcony of his home last year due to loss of control from malfunction. He said he was developing a switch to be used for transmitting drone-recorded video to iPhone for real-time sharing via wireless network.  

He said he found that drones were not safe because they could malfunction and fall from the air, posing danger to people below. He added that he hoped the government could stipulate rules and areas for flying drones or make related laws instead of invoking the Civil Aviation Law to regulate and punish.       

According to court documents, Wang flew the drone from his residence at the 22nd floor of an apartment building on Aiguo West Road, Taipei into the CAA-designated restricted area around Taipei Songshan Airport on March 27 and April 23 last year.   

The CAA slapped Wang a fine of NT$300,000 for each time the drone was flown into the restricted area as the flying object could pose danger to aviation safety. Wang launched an appeal against the fines.    

However, the court said Wang’s drone was flying at an area 5.15 kilometers from the airport, which is within the restrict area, and therefore ruled for the CAA, saying Wang’s appeal was baseless.