Dubai issues law to regulate drone activity

iStock [illustration]

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued a law to regulate drone activity in the emirate.

The law aims to reduce risks associated with drone activity and specifies the duties and responsibilities of relevant authorities.

It also seeks to help Dubai promote itself as a hub for drone manufacturing, smart transportation and innovation in the sector, and enable public and private entities to use drones and provide drone-related services.

Drones that are used for military purposes are exempted from this law, but they will be monitored by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

According to the law, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the law, and outlining the conditions and procedures for issuing permits and conducting trials. It will also establish air routes and areas designated for drones.

Meanwhile, Dubai Air Navigation Services is in charge of streamlining the activity of drones within Dubai’s airspace and providing air navigation services to help drone operators.

Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects is tasked with setting specifications, standards and conditions for ‘Drone Airports’, while the Dubai Police is responsible for managing the security aspects.

All individuals are prohibited from operating drones in restricted and dangerous areas, and could face legal action. Tough penalties including imprisonment and/or fines could be handed out to violators. Any decision can be appealed to the Director General of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority in writing within 30 days of when it took place, with a review issued over the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, special permission will be allotted to government agencies to use drones for security, rescue, firefighting, surveillance or other purposes that are in the public interest.

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