China may consider mandatory real name registration of drone owners to help manage security risks posed by drones at airports and other sensitive locations, a senior official told local media.
“We will consider real name registration as (one of the ways to manage drone operators),” said Feng Zhenglin, head of Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The bureau will also consider asking drone manufacturers to pre-install “electronic fences” in their general purpose and entertainment products, so that drones will not be able to fly into restricted areas around airports, Feng said.
China has over 20,000 drones currently, with over half of those operated by people without a license, according to Chinese state media reports.
Currently, Civil Aviation Administration of China has no responsibility to oversee drones, which are essentially in a regulatory vacuum.
The bureau has called for formal regulation to standardize the production and usage of drones in order to secure the safe operations of airports, military facilities, government and other place of national security importance.
There have been numerous cases in China when drones flew into restricted areas around airports, leading to delayed or canceled flights.
This year, drones have endangered flights at airports in Mianyang city, Sichuan province, as well as in Shenzhen, Kunming and Harbin. A total of 11 flights were affected in Shenzhen alone, and there were six times when drones appeared in restricted airspace in Kunming’s airport.