Drones increasingly pose a safety risk to planes, need regulation

Updated 2017-02-27 10:34:19 CGTN

There are many ways to fly a drone. But the most dangerous is to approach a plane carrying hundreds of passengers as it takes off.

From 2013 to 2015, at least 320 such dangerous approaching incidents happened around the world, and 28 caused the flights to change course.

There are many ways to fly a drone. But the most dangerous is to approach a plane carrying hundreds of passengers as it takes off.

From 2013 to 2015, at least 320 such dangerous approaching incidents happened around the world, and 28 caused the flights to change course.

Each DJI drone has a unique ID code and a black box that can record all flight information. But even with the most technologically advanced safety features in place, there is still one uncontrollable factor -- humans. Still, Shao remains optimistic, citing cars as an example.

"If we can connect each drone with each user, then new technologies can be applied to monitor the real-time flying process of each product. We have tens of millions of cars but they seldom cause big problems. If we have more clear regulations, drone safety control wouldn't be a problem," he told CGTN.

In 2016, some provinces in China ruled that drone users would have to get a flying license for aerial devices.

But such rules may not be so easy to enforce.

One of the problems is the authentication of flying licenses. As He Weishen, president of Guangzhou Model Aircraft Association, said: "A driver's license is issued by the police. But the drone flying license is issued by a social organization and its authority is under scrutiny. In fact, for many drone owners it's a grey area in China to fly a drone."

Vague regulations seem to be the norm in the drone world, according to He.

"The best way is for the government to give a clear map of no-fly zones and restricted fly zones," he noted, adding that "the drone company can then embed those maps into their devices. Then users will know the rules."

But in China it may not be so easy to regulate drone flying, as it is governed by various government departments. With overlapping duties, no one authority seems to be stepping forward to shoulder the responsibility.

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