SINGAPORE – A 21-year-old man is expected to be charged on Wednesday (Oct 2) after flying a drone around the Padang without a permit during this year’s National Day Parade, the police said on Tuesday.

They said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was spotted flying along Raffles Avenue – part of the designated special event area with special security restrictions – on Aug 9 at 7.55pm. The man flying the UAV did not have a valid permit.

After spotting the UAV, police officers established the location of the man flying the device and detained him. His UAV was also seized.

A location that has been designated as a special event area has strict security measures in place, including the prohibition of explosives, loudhailers and firearms.

It is illegal to bring UAVs into the area without a valid permit as well.

A person found guilty of flying a drone in a special event area without a valid permit could be jailed up to 12 months, fined up to $20,000, or both.

In June, the Singapore branch of construction company LT Sambo became the first company to be fined for operating a drone outdoors here without a proper permit, paying a $9,000 fine for its transgressions.

In the same month, unauthorised drones also caused flight delays and disruptions at Changi Airport, prompting Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min to say in Parliament in July that drones here will have to be registered and penalties likely raised for those who flout flying rules.

These changes could kick in as early as the end of the year.