Draft regulations for drones in Israel focus on safety

Draft regulations for drones in Israel focus on safety

The Israel Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has published for public comment new draft regulations designed to bring order into drone operations according to Globes, Israel business news.

There are over 20,000 drones in Israel, mostly for sports and leisure purposes whose owners have no authorisation or suitable training.

The new regulations include registration proceedings according to which every drone weighing over 250 grams (maximum weight: 25 kilograms) must be registered in a special system in the ICAA, together with the drone owner’s particulars. Registration can be done online. In order to register, the drone’s owners and operators will have to pass a written test. The test, which can also be taken online, requires the owners and operators to demonstrate knowledge and familiarity with the regulations, such as sites on which drones must not be flown, the maximum height at which a drone is allowed to fly, permitted hours for flying drones, etc.

Under the new regulations, the minimum age of registering ownership of a drone is 16, although a 12 year-old child is allowed to operate the drone under supervision of an adult. Registration of a drone requires payment of a NIS 30 fee. Drones must carry identification, including the type of drone and its owner’s particulars.

The regulations distributed for public comment state that registration will be for three years, corresponding to the average lifespan of a drone. Drone operators are barred from drinking alcohol for eight hours before operating a drone.

The new regulations distributed to the public include general rules requiring drone operators to verify that all of the drone’s systems are in good repair, thereby ensuring safe operation until the drone lands on the ground. The drone operator must not fly the drone less than 250 meters from infrastructure, such as roads, buildings, a neighborhood, or a place containing people.

“The earlier regulations applied in similar cases date back to the 1980s. They were designed for radar-operated model airplanes, but the sector has changed completely in recent years,” an ICAA source told “Globes.” “In most cases, the drones in the market are Chinese-made. If one of them has engine failure, the drone crashes on the ground like a sack of potatoes, because these aircraft have no gliding capability, and that constitutes a public hazard.”

The proposed regulations subject operators to sanctions and heavy fines, which have yet to be determined. “The idea is that the fines will be large and significant, so that breaching the regulations will not be worthwhile,” an ICAA source says.

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