JOHOR BARU: Regulations for drones will not discourage enthusiasts from handling the unmanned flying device, but instead provide safety measures for both users and the public.

Drone Racing Association Malaysia (DRAM) deputy president Dr Jaysuman Pusppanathan said the government’s move in setting up regulations for drones was similar to other nations that have more drone users.

“Many countries have their own regulations on drones and those who buy any unmanned aerial system (UAS) have to register with the respective authorities.

“Even if we buy the drone for a hobby, it still has the potential for harm, especially with the recent spike of news on the illegal flight of drones into restricted or no-fly zones,” he said here yesterday.

Jaysuman added that there were many cases of users flying their drones without following the safety protocols such as flying too high, which can be harmful.

“Some of them even fly their drones over airports, which is very dangerous if they get hit by a plane or helicopter propellers.

“Flying their drones into high security areas such as police or military camps can be a security threat to our country,” he said, adding that regulations for drones were able to address this matter.

Jaysuman, who is also Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Sports Innovation and Technology Centre fellow researcher, added that the drone-flying trend in Malaysia started around 2014, including first-person-view and commercial drones.

“Drone associations need to conduct more engagement with the public so that we can share with them that, although it is fun to fly drones around, there are rules and regulations that need to be followed,” he said.

The Civil Aviation Authority Malaysia (CAAM) will introduce an online drone flight permit application system, which is the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) by October next year.

The system would help shorten the waiting period for issuing drone flight permits from 14 days to a day, and would be a platform for drone ownership registration and drone flight permit applications as well as to facilitate the monitoring and investigation process in the event of an unwanted incident during flight.

Since 2020, applications for drone flight permits have been done manually by filling out forms.