A man has failed to appear in court over allegations that he flew a drone over packed football grounds and operated an unregistered aircraft.
Nigel Wilson, 42, was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in England accused of a total of 24 breaches of the Air Navigation Order.
He is said to have flown a “small unmanned surveillance aircraft” over venues including Liverpool’s Anfield and the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal’s home ground in north London. Both teams were playing at the time.
The charges also state that he did not maintain direct, unaided visual contact with a device to monitor its flight path relative to landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Shard and the Houses of Parliament.
Wilson is said to have committed the majority of offences last September, one last October and two in December.
He allegedly operated a drone during Liverpool’s match with Aston Villa at Anfield on September 13, as well as the Reds’ home game against Ludogorets three days later.
On the 27th of the same month he allegedly flew the device multiple times in London, including at Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates.
On the same day he is accused of not maintaining direct unaided visual contact with a surveillance aircraft at the Palace of Westminster, The Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace, and the north bank of the River Thames.
It is alleged that he flew the device without permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The Air Navigation Order 2009 says operators of small, unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly them over or within 150 metres of any congested area, over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 people, or within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the user’s control, unless they have obtained permission from the CAA.
Wilson, from Bingham in Nottingham, faces 17 counts of contravening/failing to comply with the rules of air regulations, and seven counts of operation an unregistered aircraft.
He is due to next appear at the same court on May 7.