Fri, Sep 25, 2015 - Page 4 News List

CAA to submit drone rules next week

Staff writer, with CNA

A variety of model aircraft belonging to members of a model aeronautical club based in New Taipei City are displayed at an anniversary event organized by the club in an undated photograph.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) is to present draft amendments regulating the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for legislative review next week, a Cabinet official said on Wednesday.

The draft amendments to the Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法) would also cover aerial photography, airspace and equipment after relevant rules are finalized this week, the official said.

The new measures are to serve as a regulatory framework and come in response to the rising number of UAVs and remote-controlled camera drones appearing in the skies over Taiwan. Th agency is imposing stricter regulations on camera drones weighing 15kg or more, including mandatory certification for the vehicle and operator.

Under the proposed rules, the CAA will have authority over drones weighing 15kg and above, while local governments will have jurisdiction over those that weigh less than 15kg, the official said.

The amendments are to take effect next year if they are approved by the Legislative Yuan.

The government is revising the law to tighten drone regulations following a number of crashes that raised security concerns, the official said.

Given that Taiwan is small in area, but densely populated, the regulations will be more stringent than similar laws in the US and the EU, which categorize remote drones as those weighing 25kg and above, the official said.

According to CAA rules, drones must not be flown at an altitude of more than 121.92m and are prohibited from being used to take aerial photographs of important facilities such as the Presidential Office Building and the now-shuttered Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City.

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