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International meetings spark Geneva drone ban

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International meetings spark Geneva drone ban
Swiss military drone. Photo: Swiss Air Force
20:54 CET+01:00
In an exceptional move for security reasons, the canton of Geneva is banning the flight of drones in areas regarded as sensitive because of international meetings this month.

The department of security and the economy has ruled that the radio-controlled pilotless craft would be banned from Sunday until March 27th above the canton’s international sector, the Old Town and other areas where meetings are planned.

The annual session of the UN Human Rights Council is one of the principal gatherings getting under way on Monday.

Geneva cantonal police in a news release said the ban includes the flight of drones above the motorcades of VIPs arriving for meetings.

“Currently, drones have become a part of the catalogue of potential threats,” police said.

“We cannot exclude that a device of this type could disrupt the orderly proceedings of meetings.”

The operators of drones that do not respect the ban face having them confiscated and destroyed because of the danger they represent, police said.

The force added that such operators would also be reported to the federal civil aviation office.

Small, low-cost drones, some of them capable of being controlled by smartphone apps, are becoming popular for their capabilities of taking aerial videos and photos.

The precise areas where drone bans apply include the municipalities of Pregny-Chambésy and Grand-Saconnex, as well as areas of the city of Geneva such as the Right Bank, Jonction, Plainpalais and Eaux-Vives.

The government of the canton of Vaud has adopted similar measures around Montreux, where meetings are scheduled this week over the use of nuclear power by Iran.

Dromnes and mini-drones will be banned within a one-kilometre radius of the town on Lake Geneva from Sunday until March 10th.
 

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