China’s civil aviation watchdog is about to introduce a real-name registration policy for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in a bid to address mounting concerns over drone threats to the country’s aviation safety and national security, local media is reporting (in Chinese).

The civil use of drones has had a growing presence in China since 2011. Despite the great advantages they bring to people, such as surveying and mapping, capturing live events, and small item delivery, they have created safety and security problems. Since this January, there have been 11 reported cases on flights affected by UAVs entering “clearance protection areas” in China.

China has more than 20,000 drones, but only 10,000 operators of the drones have acquired UAV pilot licenses, according to Shu Zhenjie, director of the UAV Lab at the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (in Chinese).

“For the civil aviation administration, our main responsibility involves drone registration, which includes requiring drone owners to sign up with their real names,” said Feng Zhenglin, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

“We will introduce some convenient ways for the management of small UAVs of recreational purpose or of sports purpose. For instance, we plan to set up electric fencing in clearance protection areas around airports,” Feng added.

The upcoming new regulation will prod major players into taking technical corrections, including DJI, Zerotech, Xaircraft, and PowerViroment.

China’s consumer drones industry is set to continue its boom over the next coming three years. Market research firm IDC, in a report released last December (in Chinese), estimated  China’s aerial photography drone market to top RMB 25 billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 86.5%.

Sheila Yu is a Shanghai-based technology writer. She brings readers the biggest news from Chinese language tech media. Reach her at