Whether you love them or hate them, drones are everywhere nowadays. And we must admit, they’re pretty good at producing spectacular bird’s eye pictures and videos. What they’re not good for, however, is taking selfies inside confined spaces with high security, like one foolish Hongkonger did last week.
A 51-year-old man surnamed Yeung was arrested this morning after authorities learned that he’d whipped out his drone inside the restricted area at Chek Lap Kok airport last week to take photos of himself. How exactly, did they learn this? He shared the photos on Facebook, one of which was captioned, “Dobby goes to Tokyo” (yes, Dobby is his drone and yes, that sounds like a Harry Potter spin-off show).
The incident took place at around 1:30pm last Thursday, when Yeung was about to board a flight to Tokyo. Netizens reported him to the police soon after the photos were shared, but CCTV footage showed that Yeung had already left Hong Kong by that time. Once Yeung returned from his holiday this morning, however, he was arrested for violating Cap. 35 of the Airport Authority Bylaws.
Much like the MTR, the airport can and does regulate its restricted areas, and while some of the rules are arcane and rarely enforced (both bar passengers from swearing, loitering, and making video/audio recordings without approval), the majority are in place for a damn good reason.
Chapter 35 prohibits passengers from causing flight hazards by flying kites, balloons, and model airplanes within the airport’s restricted area. Offenders face a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment and a HKD50,000 fine. Or, to put that number in terms Yeung understands, that’s 20.49 times the price of a Dobby.