Police Investigate Mysterious Drone Flights Over Central Paris

French police are investigating multiple drone flights over central Paris during the past two nights.

The first sightings were by police guarding the U.S. embassy near Place de la Concorde. The devices were also seen flying as far west as the Eiffel Tower and as far east as Place de la Bastille.

Authorities are not yet sure who is behind the flights, said Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office.

French authorities are tightening rules on drone flights in the face of growing recreational and commercial use and concerns about security. Last year, authorities in France were faced with a series of illegal small-drone flights above nuclear power plants and the military port of Toulon on the Mediterranean Sea.

“There is no reason to panic,” Henri Seydoux, co-founder of Parrot, a drone maker, said today on Europe 1 radio. Such unmanned aircraft have both good and bad uses and none has been used for a terrorist attack, he said.

DGAC, the French equivalent of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, recently gathered experts for the first-ever meeting of its Drones Council to hammer out a defense system for errant or malicious drones. The Secretariat for Defense and National Security has requested bids to provide radar and scrambler systems to “detect and even neutralize” drones.

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