Drone ‘disgrace’

WAR VETERANS were indignant after a buzzing airborne drone ruined the silence at Fremantle’s dawn ANZAC service on Monument Hill.

Joel Robinson was in the crowd and says the invasive, low-flying drone was overhead for about 80 minutes and made four take-offs and landings.

He said at one point it was circling the monument and all you could see was  its green and red lights pitched against the dark morning sky.

“I own a drone myself and feel this behaviour is disgraceful,” he says.

“People turning around looking to the sky distracted rather than focusing on paying respects to the fallen ANZACs”

“Overall a beautiful ANZAC Day service, but only to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

“Why was this not stopped?”

Mr Robinson says the drone flew in close proximity to the crowd, “to the point that all you could hear was propellers”, breaching Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations, which prohibits drone pilots
from flying their aircraft above or within 30 metres of any people.

Fremantle council arts and culture manager Pete Stone says the city commissioned a drone to take promotional images, and to document crowd numbers and parking so they could improve management of the event going forward.

“The city made it clear to the operator that the drone must be operated in a way that was respectful to the event and the people attending,” he told the Herald.

“We have also had reports of another drone operating in the vicinity of the service however we have not been able to verify this yet.

“The Federal CASA sets out the rules for appropriate use of drones and the city expects all drone users to comply with the CASA regulations.”

Global Drone Solution CEO Mahmood Hussein estimates about 80 per cent of people flying drones have no training or licence, because CASA only requires a licence to fly an aircraft over 2kg.

One of the most popular drones, the DJI Phantom, weighs 1.3kg.

“I certainly believe that there needs to be some basic training,” Mr Hussein says.

“It’s about safety.”


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