China’s aviation regulator sets up goals for drone industry

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s civil aviation regulator on Monday proposed a roadmap for development of its civilian drone industry, saying it wanted to boost their use in inner-city logistics and eventually for long-haul goods transport.

The proposed plan by the Civil Aviation Administration of China detailed various targets the regulator wanted its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry to reach by the years 2025, 2030 and 2035, including improving regulations and expanding airspace capacity for civilian UAVs.

Several companies in China have for years explored the use of drones or box-like robots on wheels to deliver parcels but widespread adoption has been slow amid regulatory hurdles and heavy reliance on human couriers.

The goal is to “enhance China’s international competitiveness in the field of unmanned aviation as well as the country’s right to speak on international civil aviation rules and standards…and reach the goal of becoming a global civil aviation power,” it said.

The CAAC said its plan was open to public comment until Sept. 5.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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