Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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China Wants Drone Owners to Register Their Real Names

China may require drone owners to register their real names.

(Photo : Getty Images) China may require drone owners to register their real names.

China plans mandatory real name registration of drone owners to help the country in monitoring and managing security risks posed by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in airports and other sensitive areas, a senior official told local media.

"We will consider real name registration as [one of the ways to manage drone operators]," Feng Zhenglin, head of Civil Aviation Administration of China, said.

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Use of civil drones has had a growing presence in China since 2011. Although UAVs have several advantages like surveying, mapping, and capturing live events, they have also created safety and security threats.

Currently, China has over 20,000 drones, and more than 50 percent of the owners do not have any license to operate. Moreover, the Civil Aviation Administration of China is not responsible for overseeing drones.

The administration may also ask drone makers to pre-install "electronic fences" on their general purpose and entertainment products to restrict drones from flying to prohibited areas around airports.

The bureau has called for a formal policy to standardize the production and usage of drones to ensure the safe operations of airports, military facilities, and other areas with national security importance.

The upcoming regulation will push major drone makers to take technical corrections such as DJI, Zerotech, Xaircraft, and PowerViroment.

Since January, there have been 11 reported cases on flights affected by drones flying within a restricted airspace in China. Just last month, investigators launched a probe into the alleged intrusion of a UAV within the airspace of Kunming's Changshui International Airport.

Currently, China follows tight policies when it comes to civilian drones. Aside from requiring a flight permission from aviation officials, drones are also not allowed to enter a 15-kilometer range near airports and fly higher than 100 meters on flight paths. Owners disobeying the rule will be detailed for five to 15 days.

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