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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan to take tougher action against drones in restricted areas

ROC Central News Agency

2016/12/06 16:35:45

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Tuesday that with effect from January next year, civilian drones that enter restricted air spaces in Taiwan will either be intercepted or shot down.

The military will also report such incidents to the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the police, and the operators of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be liable to a penalty of up to five years in prison, the MND said.

The new regulations will be introduced on Jan. 10, 2017 with a view to curbing the incidence of drone accidents and intrusions into restricted areas, the ministry said.

In cases where a drone is found to be endangering the safety of airplanes, obstructing military operations or trying to access restricted military information, the UAV will either be intercepted or shot down by the military, the ministry said.

Since July 2015, there have been eight such incidents in Taiwan involving UAVs, according to Maj. Gen. Chung Shu-ming (鍾樹明), director of the MND's Joint Operation Division.

He cited the examples of a camera drone crash into the Taipei 101 skyscraper in July last year and the intrusion of another one into the Pingtung military airport space a month later to photograph E-2 early warning planes.

In August this year, commercial flights at Chingchuangang Airport in Taichung were affected by the intrusion of several UAVs into that airspace, Chung said, citing the Civil Aviation Act that prohibits hazardous objects in the vicinity of 20 airports and airfields around Taiwan.

He said that starting in January, the military will report intrusions of civilian drones into restricted areas and will provide detailed information to the relevant authorities, including the police, to identify and track down the operators.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Lilian Wu)

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