With 120,000 registered drones, China opens its first civilian drone base in Shanghai

The Civil Aviation Administration of China on Friday announced the opening of the country's first test-flight base for civilian drones in Shanghai.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP.

The base, located in the district of Qingpu, will provide service to thousands of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in a country where private drones have become very popular, reports Efe news. Drones in China are required to fly at a height below 150 metres and all test flights to be monitored for safety reasons to avoid obstructing air operations.

According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of China, there are over 120,000 registered drones in the country. China has approximately 500 drone manufacturers, controlling almost 70 percent of market share.

The use of UAV, initially used in videography, for recreational purposes, security and agriculture, has expanded dramatically.

As per earlier reports, China has started commercial production of its CH-5 Rainbow drone, touted to be a rival to the US unmanned aerial vehicle, the MQ-9 Reaper, which could attack targets on the ground. Wang Song, an associate professor with the school of aeronautic science and engineering at China's Beihang University, said the first flight of a mass-produced CH-5 Rainbow, a heavy military drone, on Friday last week signals China's readiness to export it.

He said the drones equal the performance of the US General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, but at around half the cost.

(With inputs from IANS)

Published Date: Sep 01, 2017 13:11 PM | Updated Date: Sep 01, 2017 13:11 PM