Drones over Paris: A recap and timeline

12 Mar , 2015  

Paris, the city of light, seems to have a “drone” issue, as reported by the media. There have been many accounts of unmanned aerial vehicles flying illegally around the city, around landmarks, and generally arousing the anger and suspicion of Parisians. According to the reports I’ve read, it is illegal to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle in Paris. The following is a timeline of the events, and they seem to be a recurring issue, as there are still reports coming out.

  • November 24, 2014: Before the reports of the “drones” over Paris: There were reports of “drones” flying around nuclear Multirotors flying around nuclear plants. French government on high alert after unexplained drone flights over nuclear power stations:

    The illegal flights by the tiny, pilotless helicopters, mostly at night, were initially dismissed as a nuisance. But a recent spate of five co-ordinated “visits” in one evening to nuclear reactors hundreds of miles apart has now placed the French government on high alert.

  • Feb 24, 2015: Drones spotted flying around Paris landmarks. Drones hover over Paris landmarks, U.S. Embassy overnight. Landmarks include:

    The unmanned aerial vehicles were spotted over the Eiffel Tower, the Bastille, Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides and the U.S. Embassy, according to Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office.

  • Feb 25, 2015Three journalists arrested for flying a multirotor, but these Al-Jazeera reporters where simply using a quad to film apiece about the Paris drones: Al Jazeera Journalists Arrested in Connection With Drones Over Paris

  • March 3, 2015: Journalists fined $1000 Euros, about US $1120, but at least they weren’t sentenced to jail time. Al-Jazeera Journalist Fined $1,120 Over Paris Drone Flight

    “The court ordered the drone confiscated but handed down no prison term to Tristan Redman, who had faced a maximum one-year prison sentence and a 75,000-euro ($85,000) fine.”

  • And the reports continue.

  • March 4, 2015: Dozen more drone sightings reported over Paris

    French authorities are still trying to find a motive for the reported flights. The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, announced on Tuesday there had been about 60 incidents over nuclear plants or the French capital since October.

  • March 8, 2015: Even more sighings, not over military buildings: Fresh drone flight over sensitive French military site

    Paris (AFP) – A drone has been spotted over a sensitive military site south-west of Paris, a source close to the enquiry said Sunday, the latest in a series of overflights that has stumped authorities.

    The drone was seen late Saturday over a base in Seine-Port from which France’s navy communicates with its submarines.

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