A man was fined over £1,500 for using a drone to film a festival at one of the nation’s busiest airports.
To capture film of this year’s Download Festival, which was held at nearby Donington Park in Castle Donington, Leicestershire, Daniel Cesare piloted the gadget in the restricted airspace above East Midlands Airport.
On June 9 and 10, the 36-year-old piloted a DJI Mavic drone from a Shardlow recreation centre, around two miles from Donington Park.
A plane can be seen landing in video taken from the drone that features both daytime and nighttime views of the festival.
Cesare, of Oakfields Grove, Derby, was previously found guilty of seven crimes and now must pay a total of £1,496.
He earlier entered a guilty plea in July to three offences that occurred on June 9 of this year: failing to comply with maximum height limitations, being a remote pilot, and failing to keep an unmanned flight in sight.
The festival ran from June 8 to June 11, and he also agreed to the same offences as well as a charge of failing to display a registration number on his device in relation to June 10.
On Friday, Cesare appeared for sentencing at the Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court in Derby. He was fined £1,008 for violating the flight restriction zone, but no additional punishment was imposed for the other offences.
According to HM Courts and Tribunal Service, he also has to pay a £403 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.
In June, East Midlands Airport was the busiest airport in the nation for cargo flights and one of the busiest airports for passengers, according to figures from the Civil Aviation Authority.
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.”
Operations director for East Midlands Airport Simon Hinchley stated: “Flying drones in restricted areas close to an airport is not only risky and reckless, but it is also illegal.
“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.”