RECREATIONAL drones still have locals feeling anxious about their privacy.
Aubin Grove resident Gemma Bochat was hanging out the washing last week when she noticed a drone flying over her backyard and neighbouring houses.
Ms Bochat thought the pilot might be nefariously scouting for homes with poor security, because a park across the road offered a much better space for flying.
She did some research and found while the drone was not supposed to be flying over homes, there was little chance of that being enforced.
The Civil Aviation Society of Australia (CASA) regulates drone use, and has rules to prevent people flying them in populous areas. Drones must not come within 30m of others (Ms Bochat says the one over her yard was just 10 metres from her) and the pilot has to be able to see it at all times.
CASA has been known to issue fines based on incriminating YouTube videos, and CASA communications manager Peter Gibson told the Chook offenders can be slugged between $900 to $9000.
Although there has been talk about shooting rogue drones out of the sky with potato guns or slingshots, Mr Gibson doesn’t condone vigilantees.
“Only we can take enforcement action based on our regulations,” Mr Gibson said, suggesting people with privacy concerns should contact his organisation.
“If someone did something to a drone, obviously that would be a property matter you’d report to the police.”
Cinematography student Gavin Docherty mostly uses his drone for aerial photography, and finds it unlikely crooks would use a drone to survey the neighbourhood.
“I feel like that’s an extreme measure. I highly doubt petty criminals would use it unless they’re a criminal mastermind,” Mr Docherty said.
“All you have to do is fly it in a not-dangerous place; it’s pretty straight-forward.”
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM