Chinese airforce seizes drone in unauthorised flight
China’s Air Force has intercepted and seized a drone flying illegally in the northern Hebei Province, the first such incident to control the flight of the burgeoning unmanned aerial vehicles in the country.
People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) helicopter unit in Hebei detected an illegal low-flying drone yesterday during training and forced it to land. Preliminary investigations showed the drone was owned by an aerospace technology company in Beijing and the flight was not reported to or approved by the authority, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.
PLAAF spokesperson Shen Jinke said illegal flights of low-altitude and slow-speed small aircraft threaten civil aviation safety and public security. Recently an airport in east China’s Zhejiang Province was forced to close for 56 minutes and 18 flights were affected by an illegal small aircraft.
The aerial vehicles involved include helicopters, drones, model airplanes and delta-wing aircraft, and were owned by private companies, aviation enthusiasts as well as a few airlines. Any activity in the air must not compromise national aerospace security as well as public and personal safety, Shen said.
Regulations on aviation flight came into force in December 2013, simplifying the application procedures but still requiring approvals for nine kinds of flights.
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