Hong Kong drone complaints soar to over double in two years

Aviation authority notes increase in drone-related violations, including flying in restricted areas and privacy intrusions

Hong Kong drone complaints soar to over double in two years

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Hong Kong’s aviation authority has received 60 complaints involving drones in 2017, more than double the number from two years ago.

The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) gave a written statement to the Legislative Council, saying that it had received 60 drone complaints in 2017, up from 47 in 2016 and 27 in 2015. Two-thirds of the cases last year involved drones being operated in restricted areas, reported South China Morning Post. Nine cases were privacy-related.

Current aviation regulations forbid operating drones in densely populated areas, near airports and helipads, and at Victoria Harbour. In the last three years, two prosecutions were initiated due to drone complaints. One has resulted in a conviction while the other remains on trial.

“Upon receipt of complaints, the department will take appropriate follow-up actions which may include obtaining further information from the parties concerned, urging the parties to comply with unmanned aircraft safety guidelines and rules, or requesting the relevant police division to step up patrols,” CAD said in its statement.

Last month, the CAD launched a public consultation on new regulations governing drones, proposing mandatory registration of drone owners, as well as requiring third-party insurance to cover liabilities stemming from drone-related accidents.

According to global insurer Allianz, the global drone market could be worth US$1 billion by 2020, opening up a new market for insurance due to the risks created by increased air traffic from unmanned aerial vehicles.



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