Flying drones in Taiwan is expected be more tightly regulated in the future as the country’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) made an advance announcement of a draft amendment to the Civil Aviation Law that aims to strengthen management of drones above 250 grams.
Even thought there are regulations regarding applications for operating drones and penalties for violations, more effective management is needed to prevent drones from flying around uncontrollably and to ensure safety at a time when more and more people take an interest in flying the devices, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.
According to the revealed draft amendment, owners of drones above 250 grams will be required to register with the CAA and provide their names and contact information, and in order to play their drones, operators of drones weighing more than 25 kilograms will have to pass academic and technical tests.
After the bill becomes law, owning unregistered drones will be punishable by a fine between NT$30,000 (US$1,000) and NT$150,000, and flying drones above 25 kilograms without a license will be punishable by a fine between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000, the agency said.
The draft amendment also sets a maximum flying altitude of 400 feet, and provides that besides the areas prohibited by the CAA, such as around airports, local governments should declare areas where flying drones is not allowed or limited, including populous areas, parks, scenic areas, railways, seaports, power plants, transmission towers, reservoirs, prisons, and military facilities, according to the CAA.
In the future, the CAA will integrate all the areas in Taiwan that are off-limits to drones and make the map into an App for free download in the future, so that drone pilots will know where they can operate their drones without getting into trouble with the law, the agency said.