On Saturday night a man from the Netherlands was arrested for flying his drone equipped with a video recorder over the 35th International Fireworks Festival in Scheveningen.
The 45-year-old drone hobbyist violated Control of Model Aircraft laws when he illegally flew his drone both after dark and over a crowd.
As a result, he was taken into custody where he was questioned and released shortly after. The man’s drone remains in the hands of authorities until the Aviation Police Department reaches a decision on his outstanding hearing.
While authorities figures rightfully try to address the risk drones pose at events like this, hobbyists see these fireworks displays as an opportunity to film spectacular footage.
For example, Jos Stiglingh attracted almost 10 million views on YouTube for the footage his drone and GoPro captured in a fireworks show in Florida.
This type of drone use shows a growing trend among consumer drone owners. Authorities like the FAA recognize the need to regulate recreational drone use, but are currently relying on airspace regulation laws already in place to do so.
However, as drones become more popular among the general public, these regulations may need to be adapted with the times. According to Forbes, The FAA said they “may take enforcement action against anyone who operates a UAS in a way that endangers the safety of the national airspace system. This authority is designed to protect users of the airspace as well as people and property on the ground.”
Drone hobbyists typically do not have bad intentions, their lack of knowledge of airspace laws can pose a problem. This was the case with the man from the Netherlands as well as Tom Zebra, a drone hobbyist arrested for flying DJI phantom in San Pedro, CA.
While authorities are currently relying on both privacy and airspace laws already in place, the recent arrests may lead to speculation of whether or not clearer lines need to be drawn for this growing industry.