(Source: The Denver Channel)
A 20-year-old man has been charged with reckless endangerment Thursday after police say he flew a drone in the flight path of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport near the venue for the ESPN Winter X Games.
Aspen police said officers responded at 3:30 p.m. to their first-ever incident involving a drone flying near the venue for the X Games at Buttermilk Ski Area.
Witnesses told police the drone was flying in the general vicinity of a private aircraft.
Officers found two individuals at a bus stop near the venue and one was accused of flying a drone within the general flight path of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, police said.
The drone’s operator, Auguin Maurcio Christian, was charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment, issued a summons to appear in court and released without incident, police said. The drone, a $1,299 Phantom 2 Vision+, was confiscated as evidence.
“Safety in and around the X Games venue is the number one priority of the Pitkin County Incident Management Team,” the PCIMT said in a news release. “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 PCIMT wants to remind the general public that the FAA does not allow drones to be operated within class delta airspace, which is generally comprised of a 5 miles radius around an airport, without prior permission from the FAA.”
The law enforcement agency noted that ” ESPN was granted special permission by the FAA to fly drones for the X Games in a specified area away from spectators and are following strict safety guidelines.”
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com