Chinese authorities to release traffic regulations on flying lightweight drones

(Photo from
(Photo from

Chinese authorities have recently released traffic regulations on lightweight drones, following the temporary regulation it passed in 2013 allowing lightweight civilian drones to fly without a permit.

After passing its first traffic law on unmanned aerial vehicles more than a month ago, the details of the new regulations are still not available on the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s website. But the authorities have already set up rules for drones under seven kilograms, below 120 meters tall and flying within a 500-meter range. Permits are not required to fly drones in this category. All that owners of lightweight drones need to do is list the drone model, serial number and their contact information on the drone itself.

On the other hand, the authorities have many strict restrictions for those flying drones weighing more than seven kilograms. For instance, there are certain no-fly zones for the bigger drones and they are required to report real-time data such as altitude and distance every second. In addition, records for this data must be kept for more than three months.

The regulations won’t have a big impact on consumer drone flyers. Take DJI’s Phantom 3 and Ehang’s Ghost as examples: they only weigh between 1.2 to 3 kilograms. Many smaller drones for family entertainment only weigh about 700 grams, far from the seven-kilogram limit.

Other countries are also tightening regulations on drones. Europe is focused on scrutinizing products and U.S. drone-flying laws are almost like aviation regulations. American authorities require real-time flying data reports and the registration of drone owners. Japan and Singapore both forbid drone-flying in city centers.

Drone makers in China have sprouted in recent years, with notable companies including the world’s leading drone producer DJI, its major competitor Ehang, and Intel-partnered Yuneec. It is reported that JYU has formed partnerships with ZTE, the China-listed communications equipment manufacturer giant, to help improve its position in the drone market.

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