17:52 GMT +323 September 2017
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    In Move Toward Air Safety, China to Require Drone Owners to Register UAVs

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    Asia & Pacific
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    Chinese drone owners will have to register their UAVs -- and use their real names -- with the country’s civilian aviation regulator.

    Chinese drone owners will have to register their commercial drones with Civil Aviation Administration of China starting June 1, according to the organization's statement.

    The new regulations require any drone weighing more than 250 grams to be registered; the owners will have to put in their real names, the agency says.

    "Just like there is traffic regulation for cars, there ought to be regulation for those who operate their vehicles in the sky. Real-name registration will guide the drone industry in China towards a healthy development," said Sophie Pan, analyst with Chinese branch of market intelligence agency IDC.

    Chinese authorities have become concerned with drone safety after unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) accidents have made headlines at least a dozen times since the beginning of the year, according to South China Morning Post.

    "The latest case was in April when more than 240 flights were disrupted by drones flying near Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport in southwest China, leaving 10,000 travelers delayed," the newspaper reads.

    Since drones have become publicly available in China, the market has boomed in China, and it is now estimated to be worth about $10.9 billion, of which almost half consists of drones used to monitor agriculture and forests. China is also a home to several world-class drone manufacturers, including DJI.

    Real-name registration is likely to dampen the drone market, however, as almost every single drone will have to be registered.

    According to Zhang Yiyi, a sales manager of Flypro Aerospace Tech, a Shenzhen-based consumer drone maker, the new regulations are necessary, even if it will lower sales numbers in the short term.

    "Most of the drone operators follow the rules but the policy can force the small group of those who don't comply to behave," she said.

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    Tags:
    rules, legislation, registration, UAV, drone, Civil Aviation Administration of China, DJI, China
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