Don’t use drones, kites, balloons, public told | Sunday Observer
Independence Day rehearsals

Don’t use drones, kites, balloons, public told

31 January, 2021

The Air Force yesterday called upon people not to use drones, kites and gas balloons in Colombo as aircraft involved in Independence Day rehearsals were operating at a low altitude, a senior official said. SLAF aircraft, mainly helicopters were being used in the morning during the rehearsals and, therefore, the public has been advised against operating any airborne objects, Air Force Spokesman, Group Captain Dashun Wijeysinghe said.

He said that SLAF personnel

in mufti have already been positioned in high-rise buildings such as hotels, towers and up market residences to advice people against operating such objects.

He added that SLAF aircraft which may include fixed wing tiny aircraft would fly between 300 to 400 metres above ground level and there was the possibility of contacting other flying objects particularly balloons and kites and this posed a danger to the pilots who may get excited.

Sensitive equipment of the aircraft is also likely to be damaged in the event of a collision apart from the danger it could pose to the pilot.

“Our ground operatives including intelligence sleuths have been positioned in several areas around the Metropolis to detect those who may have ignored the request and the assistance of the police has also been sought towards this end”, Wijeysinghe added.

He said that drone operators could be easily reached since they are documented with the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Drone operators need prior approval from the MOD.

The public have been told refrain from operating any flying objects until mid-day each day when the SLAF aircraft will be in active rehearsal operations and on Independence Day (February 4).

“This is purely a security concern and, therefore, the public should cooperate with the authorities”, he said.