Date
18 August 2017
Recreational drones are emerging products and need no license to operate. Photos: Facebook, sina.com
Recreational drones are emerging products and need no license to operate. Photos: Facebook, sina.com

Recreational drones prompt safety concerns

Hong Kong drone sales are skyrocketing, driven by the growing popularity of aerial photography and prompting safety concerns, am730 reported Tuesday. 

Users of the unmanned, remotely operated craft, especially beginners, tend to ignore basic safety rules and warnings about insufficient power, the report said, citing Sir Lock, a senior instructor in the emerging recreational activity.

This has led to crashes, resulting in injuries to people and damage to property, he said.    

Some drones have propellers made of aluminum which could cause severe injury if they get out of control.

Also, some models are not equipped with satellite navigation equipment or designed for automatic turnaround. 

Lock said drones vary significantly in quality and performance, depending on price, which ranges from several hundred Hong Kong dollars to tens of thousands.

Despite the potential risk, drones have seen surging sales. About 700 were sold during the four-day Hong Kong Computer and Communications Festival that ended Monday, according to resellers.

No insurance company will underwrite a policy for damage or injury caused by drones, Cheung Wai-leung, chairman of the Hong Kong Insurance Practitioners General Union.

This is because drones are emerging products and need no license to operate, making it difficult for insures to assess risk.

The Civil Aviation Department prohibits drones over 300 feet above ground, near the airport and along Victoria Harbor, the report said.

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TL/AC/RA

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