Beijing will demand real-name registration for flying drones in the city starting next year, the municipal government said recently.
The Standing Committee of Beijing’s Municipal People’s Congress, the local legislature, passed a bill on implementation of China’s anti-terrorism law on July 28.
According to the bill, the Chinese capital will ramp up precautionary measures to beef up public and national security in public places.
This involves setting more stringent requirements for rail transport, long-haul passenger travel, postal service and use of drone.
The Beijing Daily newspaper reported that more stricter control of drones is meant to prevent them from being used for terrorist activities and will be a key part of the anti-terrorism campaign.
From January 1 onward, it is mandatory for Beijing residents to register on a real-name basis in accordance with national laws and regulations to be able to use civilian UAVs.
Besides, in the case of sale, resale, damage, disuse, loss or theft, the drone owner is required to update the registration information, the newspaper reported.
Beijing has always adopted a higher standard than the rest of the country in ensuring public security. Security tends to tighten on the eve of and during major political, economic and sports events.
Ad hoc restrictions such as real-name registration for even purchase of ubiquitous items like meat cleavers were put in place in the past, such as before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As drones proliferate in China over the years, authorities in various localities are figuring out ways to rein in what they see as unbridled growth and application of the technologies.
This time around, Beijing’s clampdown on drones has taken a step further. It prohibits any entity or individual from “illegally” tampering with built-in flight control modules of UAVs to remove the safety curbs.
Civilian drones sold in China invariably come with limitations such as geofencing, normally capping their lift to no more than 120 m and maximum radius to less than 500 m. This bars them from approaching no-fly zones like government compounds or military facilities.
Acts that are deemed to be contravening the new rules, disrupting public order or even endangering the public will be dealt with by police, Chinese media said.
Consequences include confiscation of drones, injunctions against flying, and closure of the alleged offenders’ places.