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Man facing charges for allegedly flying drone without approval

Kyodo

Police on Monday turned over to prosecutors their case against a man suspected of flying a drone in a crowded residential area without obtaining permission from the authorities.

The 50-year-old photo studio manager allegedly violated the Civil Aeronautics Law on the same day that revisions took effect banning drones from flying over crowded residential areas or around airports without government permission.

The case marks the first suspected violation of the revised law, which took effect Dec. 10, the police said.

The suspect allegedly intended to use the drone to take a panoramic photo of a high school in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, for the school’s yearbook.

He reportedly contacted the police himself after losing track of the drone soon after it took off from a park. It was later found in a parking lot some 500 meters away, according to the police.

“I knew that it required government permission, but I ended up flying the drone anyway, thinking it would be alright to fly it for only a short while,” the man was quoted by the police as saying.

The legislation was revised after a small drone with a minuscule amount of radiation was found in April on the roof of the prime minister’s office building.