Launch campaign on drone management, CAAM urged


High-tech farming: A drone being used to spread fertiliser on a padi field.

JOHOR BARU: The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) should organise a large-scale awareness campaign to explain the Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UAS-TM) to drone users.

Malaysian UAV Alliance Association (Muva) president Dr Mohd Zaliman Mohd Yusoff said some drone users are already asking for details about UAS-TM.

“CAAM has said the new UAS-TM will be ready by the third quarter of next year. We believe CAAM should use this time to explain UAS-TM to drone associations, industries and individuals.

“The system involves not only CAAM but also the committee overseeing UAS operations (Jakuas),” he said when contacted.

Jakuas includes Sirim, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the Survey and Mapping Department and the Chief Government Security Office, he added.

He said this when asked to comment on a report that drone owners who fail to register can be fined up to RM50,000, jailed for up to three years, or both, while companies can be fined up to RM100,000.

Mohd Zaliman added that the campaign and education programme will help reduce public misinformation in the future.

“The system is very technical and requires proper explanation, especially on why this regulation is needed,” he added.

He also urged the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry to start discussions with Jakuas, led by CAAM, on ensuring the use of drones in the agricultural sector complies with safety regulations and increases crop yields.

“For example, in Kedah and Selangor, where there are large-scale rice fields, more than 40% of padi farmers use drones to manage their fields.

“There needs to be strategic cooperation between these relevant agencies to increase yields and improve incomes,” he added.

Meanwhile, Malaysia UAV Developments Association (Muda) co-founder and president Datuk Lester Tay Kean Boon said several important considerations should exist before UAS-TM is introduced.

“The development and implementation of such a complex system would likely involve a tender process for selecting qualified vendors or service providers.

“This process must be transparent, competitive and follow proper procurement guidelines to ensure the best value for money and avoid any allegations of favouritism or corruption,” he said.

He added that while drones offer many benefits, there are concerns about privacy, safety and noise pollution.

“Effective public awareness campaigns and clear regulations are necessary to address these concerns and gain public trust and acceptance of the UAS-TM.

“Robust cybersecurity measures, including encryption, authentication protocols and regular security audits, must be implemented to prevent unauthorised access, data breaches or potential hijacking of drone control systems.

“This is because the system would involve tracking and controlling drone movements, making it a prime target for cyber-attacks and spoofing attempts.

“Additionally, the legal framework and regulations surrounding drone operations, privacy, and data protection need careful review and updating to accommodate the new drone management system,” said Tay.

He said that striking the right balance between enabling the economic benefits of drones and addressing public concerns is crucial for successfully implementing such a system.

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UAS-TM , CAAM , Drone , License , Registration , Awareness

   

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