Drone operation exams to open for registration from March 16: CAA

Taipei, Drone operators in Taiwan can register for testing starting March 16 under a revised law that makes such licensing compulsory for aviation safety, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) announced Friday.

Following free drone registration since the beginning of March, there will be a written test and an operating test, costing NT$100 (US$3.3) and NT$500, respectively, the CAA said.

According to an amendment to the Civil Aviation Act passed in 2019 and to be implemented March 31, operators of drones owned by government agencies, schools or legal entities must take the exam.

For privately owned drones, people flying regular drones with a maximum takeoff weight of 15 kilograms or more, or drones with GPS function that weigh 2 kg or more, are required to take the test as well, the CAA said.

Drone operators can go to https://drone.caa.gov.tw/en-US to proceed with the relevant registration, where they can also find a database of questions to prepare for the test, the CAA said.

In response to calls from drone operators that the airfields opened for them are rather small and inconsistent among municipalities, Clark Lin (???), director of the CAA's Flight Standards Division, said it will be up to local governments to make such decisions.

According to the law, except for prohibited areas and space with an altitude of 400 feet or more from ground level, local governments can designate such zones for drone activities.

But Chang Chun-wei (???), spokesperson of the 313 Alliance, which represents many drone operators, said the regulations currently adopted by some municipalities make drone operation difficult.

"There should be a negative listing instead of a positive one," Chang said, criticizing Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi and New Taipei's regulations.

Chang also said there are too few airfields open for training, and asked the government to designate open ground of at least 30 meters by 40 meters for such purposes.

However, Lin pointed out that local governments are already free to do that and that there are already six facilities available in Taipei, New Taipei, Miaoli, Taichung, Yunlin and Yilan.

There are also more training grounds being evaluated in Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, he added.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel