What to know before buying a drone this Christmas

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What to know before buying a drone this Christmas

Montreal (AFP) – UN aviation officials cautioned anyone Friday who might want to leave a gift of a drone under the Christmas tree this season, to learn how to safely operate it first.

“Drones can pose a serious threat to manned flights and people and property on the ground,” the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said in a statement.

In reaction to their growing popularity, the UN agency put out basic information on its website explaining what pilots of the unmanned aerial vehicles need to know before chasing Santa’s sled.

In a list of tips and facts for recreational users titled “Ten things to know before buying a drone this Christmas,” it said a drone weighing more than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) requires a permit to operate it.

The ICAO also urges reading the user manual, keeping the drone within eyesight and 50 meters (55 yards) away from people, property or vehicles. 

As well, it warned pilots against flying it more than 150 meters off the ground and to keep it at least eight kilometers (five miles) away from an airport.

And, it said, drones used for commercial purposes may require the remote pilot to be licensed.

Finally, “Always remember that you are now a remote pilot and are responsible for flying safely and avoiding collisions.”

The International Civil Aviation Organization urges reading the user manual, keeping the drone within eyesight and 50 meters (55 yards) away from people, property or vehicles
Copyright Getty/AFP/File Elijah Nouvelage

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