MCO in Malaysia: Cry havoc, and let loose the drones

PETALING JAYA – More than 90 drones will be deployed throughout the country for the second phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) following approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).

CAAM said it has given authorisation to the police force to operate the drones for surveillance and enforcement during the second phase of the MCO.

“This drone operation is led by the police in collaboration with the Malaysian Armed Forces and three private drone companies – Deftech Unmanned Systems, System Consultancy Services and Aerodyne Group.

“This CAAM-authorised operation will abide by the instructions and SOPs (standard operating procedures) laid out by the police,” it said in a statement Tuesday (April 7).

CAAM added that the operation will involve 90 personnel from the police, army and the three private companies, adding that 92 drones will be deployed throughout the country.

It also said that a Notice to Airmen (Notam) has been issued to notify all airspace users that drone activity operations are being done at a maximum of 152.4m above ground level.

“This Notam applies nationwide and is valid until April 14,” it said.

CAAM said it was important that any drone intended operations acquires its authorisation as it may “cause hazard to other airspace users and endanger public safety” due to the extensive coverage of a drone operation.

It said those who operate drones without CAAM’s authorisation can be subjected to a penalty of a minimum of RM50,000 (S$16,400) and/or three years of imprisonment for an individual or a fine not exceeding RM100,000 for a corporate body, if found liable.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.