The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has filed a police report against a man who flew his drone up to planes landing at KLIA to take pictures. The DCA said that the act was reckless and was endangering the lives of those on the planes. On the other hand, it appears that the Malaysian Airports Berhad (MAB) thinks that this is a good idea and wants him to work for it.
yengnasir uploaded several images to his Instagram account featuring civilian airliners landing at KLIA which eventually went viral. Many users criticised his use of the drones which could have collided with an aircraft and brought it down. The actual drone was seen by pilots landing at the airport, who brought it to the attention of the DCA.
A followup report seems to indicate that yengnasir was brought to Bukit Aman for questioning, but was released without being charge. In fact, an Instagram post by the drone enthusiast claims that KLIA officials had instead offered him a job to shoot a promotional video for the airport.
Drones are quickly gaining popularity among photographers for the ability to take aerial shots cheaply; or at least for less cost than renting a plane or helicopter. However, many countries ban the flying of remote control aircraft (under which drones fall) in the vicinity of airports for safety and security reasons. The DCA itself points out that flying a drone in an airport is a crime under the Civil Aviation Act 1969.
Still, it appears that yengnasir is not apologetic for what he did, and will get away with it. Despite this, the DCA views the operation of drones seriously and urges all Malaysians to get permission from the department before deploying their unmanned aircraft.
Update: Malaysian Airports Berhad has issued a statement saying that it has not engaged any third parties to do any work involving drones around its airports. Which means that our readers that pointed out the fake Instagram account were right on the money. MAB has also reminded citizens that the airspace around airports is under the jurisdiction of the DCA and any flying activities must receive clearance from the body.
— Malaysia Airports (@MY_Airports) March 5, 2015