China to regulate flying of civilian drones

Chinese authorities are set to publish new rules and regulations for civilian drone that will help put an end to irregular flights, the media reported on Tuesday.

China to regulate flying of civilian drones

Beijing: Chinese authorities are set to publish new rules and regulations for civilian drone that will help put an end to irregular flights, the media reported on Tuesday.

Ke Yubao, executive secretary-general of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of China, said on Monday that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has drafted a provisional regulation on the operation of light-duty civilian drones and is soliciting suggestions and opinions, the China Daily reported.

"The regulation will be published as soon as early December," he said.

The regulation will contribute to closing statutory loopholes in the management of drones and make it more convenient for owners, according to Ke.

"Currently, there are several CAAC regulations that govern the use of civilian drones, but most of them lack specific and practical rules," Ke said, adding, "The new regulation will set clear rules on which flights are legal and which are not permitted."

However, the regulation will ban small drones from delivering packages to urban residents. Such drone-based delivery systems are being developed and tested by online shopping service providers like the US firm Amazon.

"This is because the detection and collision-avoidance systems on small drones are not good enough to avoid the dense building clusters and electric wires. A collision and crash will compromise the safety of people on the ground," he said.

Under the new regulation, a drone that weighs less than 25 kg and flies at an altitude of lower than 150 metres will be exempted from an airworthiness certification but will still need to register with the civil aviation authority, he said.

Those weighing from 25 to 150 kg will have to go through airworthiness certification before they are allowed to operate.

All flights performed by drones will be required to submit a flight plan before an aircraft takes off.

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