Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, took pride of place at the recently-concluded 20th China Beijing International High-tech Expo (CHITEC).

The overall market of UAVs is expected to reach 75 billion yuan (around 11 billion US dollars) by 2025 in China, according to an iResearch report last year.

However, more attention is also being given to the negative aspects of these gadgets. Some companies have even developed anti-drone "guns", which are also showcased in the expo.

Drones are often criticized as intrusive devices that may infringe privacy, threaten national security and are a risk to public safety, most notably in their potential to interfere with air traffic.

The "gun" companies provide anti-drone solutions to airports, government agencies and the military.

How high is the sky?

While drone use in agriculture, environmental monitoring and public entertainment is fairly benign, civilian drones have threatened the safety of aircraft on many occasions.

In late April, four drones were illegally flown over Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in southwest China's Sichuan Province. 58 flights were obliged to land at alternative airports, with four more forced to return to their original airports, and many flights canceled.

"In a vibrant drone market, laws, regulations, supervision and public awareness on safe flying lag far behind," Zhang Yu, associate professor with the college of control science and engineering at Zhejiang University, told Xinhua.

From June 1st, China requires civilian drones weighing over 250 grams to be registered using the owners' real names in a bid to improve civil aviation safety. Registration of civilian drones is a common international practice.

This article belongs to CGTN 




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