CAAP issues first 'drone' license

By Raoul Esperas

Posted at Jul 09 2015 02:35 PM | Updated as of Jul 09 2015 10:51 PM

CAAP director general William Hotchkiss issues first drone license and permit to Joel Cruz, owner of SRDP Engineering. Photo by Raoul Esperas

MANILA – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has issued the first unmanned aerial vehicle license and certificate of authorization to operate a "drone" for commercial purposes.

Lt. Gen. William Hotchkiss, director general of CAAP, issued the license to Joel Cruz, the owner of SRDP Engineering and Consulting to operate two of their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or more popularly known as "drones."

Hotchkiss said the historical issuance of license and certification to operate the drone is a mandatory requirement for all owners of large UAV units that they use for commercial business.

Hotchkiss added that they also encourage all UAV operators that use their drone for personal purposes to also register their unit for safety and security reasons.

"Let us all be good citizens and keep our sky safe for the aircraft and it's passengers," Hotchkiss said.

Cruz, meanwhile, said that as a professional company engaged in engineering and aerial typography, they are honored to be the first commercial UAV operator to register their drone.

The two UAVs are now officially registered as RP U001A and RP U002A. SRDP or the registered license operator, Cruz, will now be required to file the necessary flight plan whenever he plans to use the drone.

Capt. Efren Rocamora of CAAP safety standards, however, reminded Cruz that the 10-kilometer radius for no-fly zone on all airports in the Philippines still applies even if he is a registered UAV operator.

Rocamora is also urging all UAV owners for sports or hobby purposes to register their drones with CAAP.