Two men were recently placed under custody for violating the ban on flying drones in eastern China’s Hangzhou, as the city tightens its security in the run-up to the 19th Asian Games to be held there.
Hangzhou police revealed that the duo, surnamed Zheng and Peng, were caught flying drones near Hangzhou International Expo Center in the city’s Xiaoshan District around noon on September 9.
During the subsequent police interrogation, Zheng confessed he knew it was illegal to fly drones, but chose to abet his companion Peng to do so.
Zheng was placed under a 10-day custody while Peng was given seven days in administrative detention.
Penalties can also apply in milder offenses, according to China’s law on public security administration and punishment.
Hangzhou put in place rules barring all “low-altitude, slow and small-sized” aircraft from entering its airspace between September 1 and 9.
The city continues to enforce temporary restrictions against civilian drone activities in the lead-up to and during the Games, which runs September 23 to October 8, till the end of October.
“Low-altitude, slow and small-sized” aircraft refer to drones, balloon and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that move below 1 km above the ground, are slower than 200 kph and possess a radar cross section of less than 2 sqm.
In the first nine days of this month, Hangzhou police initiated a crackdown on drone activities to ensure public safety on the eve of the Asian Games and identified 53 breaches of the temporary curbs.
The entire Zhejiang province will also tighten its control of drones and other UAVs from September 1 to October 28, with major cities like Ningbo, Wenzhou, Huzhou, Jiaxing, Shaoxing, Jinhua and Quzhou following Hangzhou’s lead to set up no-fly zones in certain areas or implement a blanket ban on drones.