Supposed potential threats from global terrorism have been cited by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for the regulation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones.
Retired Brig. Gen. Rodante Joya of the CAAP said that while UAVs have gained popularity among filmmakers, it has potential to do great harm if used by the wrong people.
“We are aware of, not only in the Philippines but global terrorism, you know the potential of UAVs. You just load a small bomb into it, fly it on an airport or a crowd, these are terrifying,” he said, according to a report by GMA News’ Vonne Aquino on GMA News TV’s “News to Go.”
The CAAP wants UAV users to get a certification from it before they can fly them. UAVs are gaining use for research and rescue operations.
According to CAAP, it wants the certification to detail the UAV and where it will be used.
It said the UAV cannot be flown into crowds or restricted areas like airports, or no-fly zones like military camps or the presidential residence.
UAVs also cannot be flown below 400 feet above ground level, it added.
Violators may face fines ranging from P300,000 to P500,000.
But for users like filmmaker Mico Manalaysay, the license requirements, as well as paperwork and exams, may be too much.
Earlier this year, the CAAP issued Memorandum Circular No. 21 requiring drone owners or operators to register their equipment with the CAAP, and secure a certification to operate from the agency.
Under a memorandum provision, an applicant must meet the following qualifications to be certified as a UAV controller:
- qualify for a radio operator’s certificate of proficiency,
- have been awarded a passed rating in an aviation license theory examination,
- have been awarded a passed rating in an instrument theory examination,
- completed a training course on the operation of the type of UAV that he/she posses to operate,
- have at least five hours experience operating UAVs outside controlled airspace.
The applicant must also first obtain at least one of these three certifications:
- a flight crew license with a command instrument training,
- a military qualification equivalent to a license,
- an air traffic control license.
The memorandum also requires the applicants to provide a detailed description of their UAV and their purpose for operating it.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com