Saturday, January 24, 2015

Man issued misdemeanor summons for flying drone near Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (KASE), Aspen, Colorado

A 20-year-old man was accused of reckless endangerment on Thursday after he allegedly operated a drone from a bus stop outside of the Buttermilk Ski Area, the venue for the ESPN Winter X Games.

Auguin Maurcio Christian, 20, no address given, was the operator of the drone, according to a news release from Blair Weyer, spokeswoman for the multi-agency team that’s managing public safety in and around the X Games.

Reckless endangerment is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Christian was issued a summons to appear in court and was released without incident, Weyer said.

“Drones have become more commonplace as technology evolves rapidly, posing new safety threats for public safety to manage. Given the proximity of the X Games venue to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, drones create a serious concern in and around the venue,” the news release said.

The Federal Aviation Administration does not allow drones to be operated within a five-mile radius around an airport without prior permission. ESPN, which produces the X Games, was granted special permission by the FAA to fly drones in a specific area, away from spectators, during the event, Weyer said.

According to witnesses, the drone was flying in the general vicinity of a private aircraft, Weyer said. The drone, described as a “Phantom 2 Vision+,” was confiscated as evidence, the release said. 

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