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Vietnam bans drones from around airports

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has sent an urgent dispatch asking concerned ministries and agencies to strengthen management over unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, to ensure air traffic safety.

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A Boeing plane of South Korea’s low-cost T’way Air sustained damage to its nose cone. PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked ministries and agencies to strengthen management of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to ensure air traffic safety. — Photo dantri.com.vn

The urgent dispatch was issued after two recent incidents in which aircrafts sustained damage to their nose cones but did not appear to have been hit by birds.

The PM’s dispatch temporarily banned the operation of drones within an 8km radius around airports.

The PM asked the Ministry of Transport to direct aviation enterprises, especially airport authorities and Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation, to develop solutions and plans to manage airspace around airports and deal with incidents involving UAVs.

In addition, the Ministry of Transport would co-operate with the Ministry of Defence and relevant agencies to review legal documents on management, supervision and handling of violations relating to drones.

The ministry needed to effectively implement preventive measures to minimise risks from drones, including those equipped with cameras.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is asked to direct the market management agency to tighten control over the illegal trading of UAV components and equipment.

Organisations and individuals who want to import, export, design, produce and sell the equipment must also be licensed by the Ministry of Defence.

The city and provincial people's committees need to improve people's awareness about the risks of drones and stop their operation in areas around the airport.

Camera drones have become more popular in recent years, especially among young people. Many foreign countries had strict regulations on the equipment because they put aircraft at risk if flown near airports.

Drones can reach altitudes of 5,000-6,000m, so they could directly affect civil aviation and cause serious accidents, according to an official from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.

Organisations and individuals must ask for permission from the Ministry of Defence before using flycam drones and can use them only when they are licensed by the ministry.

On October 16, a Vietjet plane travelling from HCM City to Phu Quoc was discovered to have sustained damage to its nose cone.

Earlier, on September 19, a Boeing plane of South Korea’s low-cost T’way Air travelling from Incheon to HCM City was also discovered to have been damaged.

The PM has requested the Ministry of Defence to co-ordinate with concerned agencies urgently in studying and verifying the causes of the two incidents.

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