UAE registers 4,100 drone operators, launches second awareness campaign

The Ministry of Interior will launch the second phase of its awareness campaign on unmanned aerial vehicles on 28 January, according to Gulf News (http://gulfnews.com/). Around 4,100 drone users have been registered with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), a GCAA source told the news service.

It quoted Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, director-general of the GCAA, as saying: “Before the campaign started, the authority had registered only 561 drones. The number has now reached 4,100 after the rules were enacted last year. The number of air space violations by drone users has also dropped significantly during this period… Now the community is also aware that the indiscriminate and erroneous use of UAVs around airports is a threat to the safety of aircraft and passengers and disrupts air traffic in the country. Such interruptions lead to the loss of millions of dirhams.”

The awareness You Are Responsible’ campaign was launched last year to educate people about the rules and regulations governing drones. On registration the operator agrees to guidelines and rules on operating their drones and also agrees to be trained to avoid prohibited areas near airports and palaces. Operators who flout regulations will be fined Dh50,000 and/or jailed for three years, officials have said.

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