Drones over Key Sites

General News
Drones spotted over Paris

Drones spotted over ParisOver the last couple of nights, Police have revealed that there have been several drones observed flying over sensitive sites in Paris including the Embassy of the United States.

At least five sightings have been spotted, and a further five reported the night before, flying over and around the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides and Place de la Concorde by helicopter drones.

According to reports, eye witnesses and police were able to film the drones as they passed over head.

The images are being studied by a team of ten investigators from the French Gendarmerie’s specialist aviation unit (GTA), which was put together after the five drones were spotted flying above Paris in the early hours of Tuesday morning at specific locations such as the US embassy.

There were similar incidents in early October, when drones were spotted flying over 17 nuclear sites and last month one flew over the Elysée Palace.

The fresh sightings also come at a time of heightened security in Paris following last month’s jihadist attacks that left 17 people dead.

France has very strict laws on flying drones, and those breaking them could face up to one year in prison and a €75,000 fine.  Drones must remain in sight of their pilot at all times during their flights and must fly no higher than 150m. You must not fly them near groups of people or animals or in an urban area.

Drones are also banned from key sites such as airports, military installations and nuclear facilities which are protected by a no-fly zone that spans a 2.5 km radius and a height of 1km.   The flying of drones over the capital is also banned by the law.

Drones with cameras on board can only be flown with the permission of the Direction générale de l’aviation civile (DGAC), although this permission is not needed for occasional hobby flights.

The full laws on drones can be found here and here.

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