Real-name registration requirement imposed for civilian-use drones in China

Following serious incidents of civilian drones entering the airspace of Chinese airports and causing flight delays last April, China's civil aviation authority has issued the Real-name Registration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Administrative Provisions, with effect from May 16, 2017, in an effort to increase accountability for drone use by requiring owners and manufacturers of civilian-use unmanned aircraft systems to complete "real-name" registration procedures.

Under the provisions, all civilian-use UAS with a maximum take-off weight of not less than 250g must be registered through the Civil Unmanned Aircraft Real-name Registration Information System, which became available from May 18, 2017.

The implementation of a real-name registration requirement is considered to be a major step towards more comprehensive regulation of drones in China.

However, various gaps exist in the real-name registration requirements, suggesting further rule-making may be needed.

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