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Hong Kong drone owners may need license to fly

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Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Authority (HKCAA) is investigating introducing stricter regulations for drone owners.

The HKCAA are proposing that UAV users may need to register their drones with authorities, undertake training, pass tests, and meet certain insurance requirements.

Under the new rules, any drone weighing over 9 ounces (250 grams) would need to be registered and owners of drones weighing between 9 ounces and 15.5 lbs (7 kgs) would need to undertake short web-based training.

Hong Kong will go through a three month period of public consultation before making any changes. The current laws are widely viewed as not adequate in light of recent advances in technology. The proposal will also include making certain parts of the island into no-fly zones.

As it stands, while some countries do require people to register their drones – the need to obtain a license to fly is rare.

A selection of countries where flying consumer drones is difficult or forbidden

North Korea: “Really?!” I hear you saying, “North Korea is usually such a bastion of freedom and human rights.” Unsurprisingly, flying drones is totally forbidden in the Hermit Kingdom. After all, if you are an authoritarian dictator, you don’t want prisoners (North Korean citizens) gaining a glimbse of freedom, right?

Paraguay: All drone operations must be registered with the Paraguayan airforce

Antartica: Not too many people living here but the international community have agreed to ban recreational drones along coastal areas of the frozen continent. This law is in place to avoid disturbing the unique wildlife inhabiting the coastal zones.

Nepal: Any drone equipped with a camera needs permission to fly.

Saudi Arabia: It’s banned. How shocking.

Slovakia: You may take aerial photographs but only with consent from the Slovak Republic’s Ministry of Defense.

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