China's effort to regulate drone flights takes effect

Updated 2018-03-26 16:19:04

Thanks to the efforts to regulate drone flights, incidents of drones interrupting civil aviation have been declining by month, and the frequency has changed from "frequent" to "occasional", according to an international unmanned aircraft forum held in Beijing, reported on March 22.

According to statistics, the number of qualified drone aircraft pilots in China rose from 214 in 2014 to 14,152 in 2017, an annual increase of 200 percent, and by March 22, that number passed 24,000. On the other hand, the number of registered drones has come to 180,000.

Illegal drone flights at Chinese airports last year affected multiple flights, and therefore also delaying the flights of many passengers.

To change this, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) launched a special campaign to regulate illegal drone flights, implemented real-name registration of drones, improved the general management of drone pilots, and defined the scale and area of non-flight space restricted areas at 173 civil airports to protect normal airline flights.

An annual report regarding the management of unmanned aircraft compiled in 2017 under the leadership of the CAAC has found that as the supervision on drone flights tightened, incidents of drones interrupting civil aviation have been declining sharply to a steady low level this year, from the peak period in May 2017.

For the next step, officials with the CAAC disclosed that they will further improve rules and regulations on drone flights and proceed with the construction of an unmanned aircraft operation management platform.

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