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Defence ministry wary of airborne cameras

Update: August, 12/2015 - 08:07
A man uses a flycam to shoot photos. The Ministry of Defence urges provincial and city authorities to scrupulously enforce regulations related to the use of flycams, or cameras attached to remote-controlled flying devices for shooting aerial pictures. – Photo chosaigon.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Ministry of Defence has urged provincial and city authorities and other relevant agencies to scrupulously enforce regulations related to the use of flycams, or cameras attached to remote-controlled flying devices for shooting aerial pictures.

The regulations, spell-ed out in a 2008 Government decree, aim to ensure security, aviation safety and social order.

In an official correspondence signed by Deputy Minister for Defence Senior Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty, it said flycams are increasingly used for socio-economic, defence, education, and sports purposes, and many individuals and organisations import, make and distribute them though the actions are illegal.

The activities could endanger military and civil aviation, have an impact on social order and safety and enable hostile forces to affect the country's political security, it said.

The ministry urged relevant ministries and other agencies and local authorities to enforce Decree No 36 that mandates licences for using flycams.

Import and export, design and manufacture, testing, and distribution of flycams and other light flying devices must be approved by the Defence Ministry, the document said.

It revealed that on May 31 and June 21 this year the Army's Brigade 144 discovered and stopped two flycams operating in no-fly zones in Ha Noi. The drones were later seized by the authorities.

These remote controlled devices are often flown over Thong Nhat Park in Ha Noi; Cat Lai in District 2, Cau Do Bridge in District 7, Dong Hung Thuan in District 12, and An Ha Bridge in Cu Chi District in HCM City; Thong Nhat Residential Area in Di An town; and Dong Nghe and Hoa Khanh Industrial Park in Da Nang, it said.

According to Prof Nguyen Thien Tong, former chairman of aviation technology at the HCM City University of Technology, said operators should also be aware of where such equipment is banned in order not to affect aviation security.

Ryan Deboodt, a professional photographer, said many places where he had lived and worked had various regulations for operating flycams. They are banned in Beijing though they can be flown in remote areas where there are no buildings or passers-by, according to Deboodt.

The travel photographer, who documented Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh last March, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that in the US, personal flycams must be kept away from airports and national parks while flycams for commercial purposes must be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. — VNS

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