A man has been fined almost £1,500 for flying a drone over one of the country’s busiest airports to get footage of a festival.
Daniel Cesare flew the device in the prohibited airspace above East Midlands Airport to get footage of this year’s Download Festival, held at neighbouring Donington Park in Castle Donington, Leicestershire.
The 36-year-old flew the drone, a DJI Mavic, from a recreation centre in Shardlow, around two miles from Donington Park, on June 9 and 10.
Footage from the drone shows both day and night-time shots of the festival, with a plane seen landing in the footage.
Cesare, of Oakfields Grove, Derby, must pay a total of £1,496 after previously pleading guilty to seven offences.
He had previously pleaded guilty in July to being a remote pilot flying an unmanned aircraft in a flight restriction zone without permission, failing to comply with maximum height restrictions and failing to keep an unmanned flight in sight, all committed on June 9 this year.
He also admitted the same charges, as well as a charge of failing to display a registration number on his device, relating to June 10, with the festival running from June 8 to June 11.
Cesare appeared for sentencing at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court in Derby on Friday, and was fined £1,008 for flying in the flight restriction zone, and given no separate penalty for all other matters.
He must also pay a £403 victim surcharge and £85 costs, according to HM Courts and Tribunal Service.
East Midlands Airport was the busiest airport in the country for cargo flights in June, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority, and one of the busiest passenger airports.
Following sentencing, Pc Stephen Booth, from Derbyshire Constabulary’s Drones Team, said: “Cesare showed, on two occasions, a complete disregard for the rules around flying a drone.
“Twice he took his aircraft into the restricted airspace of East Midlands Airport, on the first occasion as a plane was in the process of landing.
“He also showed disregard for the tens of thousands of people attending the Download Festival and their safety, flying the drone out of his line of sight ran the risk of him losing control of that aircraft, which could’ve had catastrophic consequences.
“Laws surround the flying of a drone for a reason, they are to keep the pilot and those around the flight path as safe as possible.
“This sentence proves the courts take those who ignore the law seriously, as do we, and we will continue to bring those who flout the rules to justice.”
Simon Hinchley, East Midlands Airport’s operations director, said: “Flying drones in restricted zones near an airport is not only dangerous and reckless but is also a criminal offence.
“Anyone caught doing so will be prosecuted and could face a prison sentence and high fines.
“Drone users should familiarise themselves with the strict rules and regulations in place to keep themselves and others safe.”