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Thu January 21 2021

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Hong Kong to review drone laws

21 Apr 16 Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department is to carry out a review of policies and legislation on unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as drones.

Secretary for transport and housing Prof Anthony Cheung told lawmakers that the of the regulatory framework and enforcement measures will take into account the experience of overseas authorities and the specific circumstances in Hong Kong.

Particular emphasis will be placed in striking a balance between the use of the systems for recreational and work purposes, and the protection of public safety, he said.

The department will continue to strengthen its publicity and educational efforts to raise people's safety awareness on operating such systems.

Cheung said that Article 48 of the Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 stipulates that a person shall not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any people or properties.

Regulation 22 of the Air Transport (Licensing of Air Services) Regulations requires operators of UAS to lodge an application with the Civil Aviation Department before operating such aircraft for hire and reward, and to abide by the conditions stipulated in the permit.

The department will take follow-up action after receiving reports of reckless or illegal use of UAS, and provide technical support to the police in enforcement actions.

People convicted of contravening Regulation 22 of the Air Transport (Licensing of Air Services) Regulations can be fined up to HK$5m and jailed for up to two years.

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