Camera-toting drones banned from Cambodia’s Angkor complex

Phnom Penh, Nov 16 (IANS) Cambodia has issued a directive to ban remote-controlled miniature aircraft from flying over the famed Angkor archaeological park in Siem Reap province, an official said on Wednesday.

Long Kosal, deputy director of the communications department of the Apsara Authority, which manages the ancient site, said the directive signed by Apsara Authority’s director-general Sum Map was publicised on November 4, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The ban is aimed at ensuring safety for domestic and foreign tourists and preventing any impact on the ancient temples, as well as maintaining security and order at the temples,” he said.

“Violators will face warnings or see their drones confiscated,” he said.

According to Kosal, in case of necessity, drone users must apply for a permit from the Apsara Authority.

Angkor archaeological park, inscribed on the Unesco’s World Heritage List in 1992, is the kingdom’s top tourist destination.

The ancient site attracted some 1.56 million foreigners during the first nine months of this year, generating a gross revenue of more than $44 million from ticket sales, according to government figures.

Drones have been prohibited from flying over Phnom Penh capital’s airspace since February last year after a German tourist flew his video camera-mounted drone over the Royal Palace and was spotted by Queen Mother Norodom Monineath as she performed her daily exercise routine.