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China had over 1.26m UAVs by end of 2023

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-03-31 07:20

The Wing Loong-2 large unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) takes off from an airport in the city of Zigong, Southwest China's Sichuan province, March 18, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - The number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in China increased 32 percent year-on-year to exceed 1.26 million by the end of 2023, data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) shows.

These UAVs, or drones, flew more than 23 million hours last year, according to the CAAC.

The CAAC has approved the establishment of 17 civil unmanned aviation test zones and three test bases, covering cities, islands and other application areas.

The significant increase in China's number of UAVs and the establishment of unmanned aviation test areas show that the country's low-altitude economy is a blue ocean in its industrial development, according to experts.

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology officials have said that the general aviation industry is the main body of the low-altitude economy, and its development will be supported by innovation, large-scale demonstrations, general aviation technology and equipment upgrades, and the creation of a new general aviation industry development model with Chinese characteristics.

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