Sri Lanka arrests Maldivians flying drone near airport

Air traffic controllers at the BIA said there were no disruptions to international flights on Saturday. (Shutterstock)
Updated 03 February 2019

Sri Lanka arrests Maldivians flying drone near airport

  • It was the first arrest in the country in connection with an illegal operation of a drone near an airport
  • The incident came hours before Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was due to arrive in Sri Lanka to attend the country’s 71st national day ceremony in Colombo

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities arrested four Maldivian nationals, including a woman, for illegally operating a drone near the country’s main international airport, police said Sunday.
The suspects were taken into custody on Saturday night after they were seen using a drone within the high security zone of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), police said in a statement.
“They were filming the airport area with the drone. Investigations are continuing,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said. “The suspects — aged between 19 and 23 — will be produced before a magistrate today.”
It was the first arrest in the country in connection with an illegal operation of a drone near an airport.
The incident came hours before Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was due to arrive in Sri Lanka to attend the country’s 71st national day ceremony in Colombo.
Operating any kind of drone near airports is banned while drone photography and aerial mapping are also highly regulated by civil aviation authorities.
Air traffic controllers at the BIA said there were no disruptions to international flights on Saturday.
However, drones have caused flight disruptions in recent weeks in London and New York.


Italy considers extending COVID-19 emergency until Jan. 31

Updated 12 min 11 sec ago

Italy considers extending COVID-19 emergency until Jan. 31

  • The emergency, set to expire in mid-October, gives the government greater powers

ROME: Italy is considering extending until Jan. 31 next year its state of emergency over the COVID-19 crisis, two national newspapers said on Thursday.
The emergency, set to expire in mid-October, gives the government greater powers, allowing officials to more easily bypass the bureaucracy that smothers much decision-making in Italy.
Dailies Il Messagero and Corriere della Sera said a cabinet meeting discussed the issue late on Wednesday.
“It is not official yet.. while at first (the government) talked about pushing it back to Dec. 31, during the meeting (the government) considered going beyond the end of the year, given that the cohabitation with the virus is destined to go on for a long time still,” Il Messaggero said.