Lao Authorities Shoot Down Thai Drone Flying Over Mekong River

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A Thai internet user expressed concern on a discussion forum after his drone was shot down by authorities in Laos as he tried to fly it across the Mekong River.

The user exclaimed on Pantip, a Thai discussion forum, that he has been flying his drone from Thailand across the Mekong River into Laos for over a year.

In March, the user reported observing a man who he believed to be a policeman in Laos on the drone’s screen. The man stood on the opposite side of the river and shot at the drone with a slingshot, destroying it.

After this incident, the Thai netizen said that his family traveled to Laos, but he was afraid to accompany them after breaking the law by flying his drone into Lao territory.

According to a report from the Department of Civil Aviation of Laos (DCAL), the management of unmanned aircraft (Unmanned Aircraft) must register and provide a UAV Operator Certificate, Activity Permit, and Certification of Controller.

In order to request verification and approval from the Department of Civil Aviation, drone operators must have a frequency certificate from the Department of Frequency Management, Ministry of Technology and Communications.

Laos’s Department of Civil Aviation has not yet issued a statement regarding the drone incident.