Drone sighted at police base, border - Solomon Star News

Drone sighted at police base, border

23 October 2020
Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau.

POLICE are hunting down the owner of a drone that was seen flying over their base at the Western Border, Shortland Islands, Western Province.

Police Chief Mostyn Mangau said they are concern with the flying of the drone at the border because it compromises their security operation.

“We will find information as to who owns the drone and deal with the owner,” Mangau said.

He added that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Solomon Islands (CAASI) will also deal with the illegal flying of the drone.

“At this point in time we will try to observe, look out and try to work with the community to get more information as to who owned the drone,” he added.

Mangau said they have contacted CAASI and were informed there no one from the area especially in Shortland or Taro, Choiseul has drone licenses.

“It is a serious issue that we should be looking at especially when we are carrying out security operations.”

He added that no one should be authorized to fly such objects during police operations otherwise they will be facing the consequence of their actions and the aviation law in the country.

Mangau called upon the communities along the border coastal area to refrain from such activities.

“If you have no operation license obtained from CAASI to fly drones, then don’t do so because if you do, you are breaching some of our regulation.” 

When asked by a journalist if the drone was believed to have been flown to the police base from the other side of the border, Mangau said, no.

He said the drone they sighted does not have the capability to travel that distance.

“It is not a long-range drone.

“It can only fly to about 1.5 kilometre to 1.5 kilometre and with that distance, we believe the drone to be within our area.”

When asked again if police are suspicious the drone is taking photos, Mangau said if the drone is set up to spy on police security arrangements then that comprises their operation. 

He said another concern is if the drone is flown without any approval then it is illegal. 

He advises people who own drones to go through the proper channels by getting your license from CASSI before flying their drones.

Newsroom, Honiara