On July 4, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, issued announced new regulations governing drone operations in Dubai
Law No. (4) of 2020 aims to reduce risks associated with drone operations. and specifies the duties and responsibilities of relevant authorities. “The new Law 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,” according to a report in the Gulf Times.
The law assigns new responsibilities to different organisations, according to several press reports.
The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) will oversee the implementation of the law and “managing all related operations and activities in line with federal legislations and international treaties and conventions. This also includes monitoring and controlling drone activity in their designated airspace and outlining the conditions and procedures for issuing permits and conducting trials,” say reports. The DCAA will also identify and approve designated areas and heights within which the operations and trials of drones can be conducted.
All drone-related operations will require a licence from the DCAA, which will work with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to outline the procedures for the use of radio frequencies for drones and their systems and remote-control stations. The DCAA will also be responsible for issuing licences to supply drones with power and ensuring operational procedures meet the certification requirements. The DCAA will designate areas for drone-operations within the country’s airspace.
Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS) will streamline “the activity of drones within Dubai’s airspace and demarcating the airspace within which they can operate in order to support the DCAA in monitoring drone activity. Dubai Air Navigation Services is also tasked with providing air navigation services and air traffic movement and meteorological information to drone operators so that they can operate safely.” DANS is responsible for determining the air routes in which drones may fly according to pre-planned and approved procedure set out by the DCAA.
Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) will develop specifications, standards and conditions for ‘Drone Airports’ and presenting them to the DCAA for approval. DAEP will also ensure these plans are aligned with urban plans and transportation regulations in the city.
Dubai Police will manage all security aspects of drone operations, coordinating with the DCAA “to put in place security measures to prevent the illegal use of drones and crimes committed by using drones, as well as measures to deal with the loss of control of drones, especially when they are flying outside their designated areas and not complying with regulations.”
According to Gulf News:
“Without prejudice to any other legislation, tough penalties including imprisonment and/or fines, could be applied to anyone who endangers the safety and security of the airspace, or designs, manufactures, assembles or modifies drones and its systems, and develops simulation and training systems, or imports or sells drones, parts or systems in the Emirate without permission from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, as well as anyone who operates drones in violation of the provisions of the new Law. Any individual causing damage due to drone operations shall be responsible for damage compensation and removal of the cause of damage during the period determined by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority. In case of delay, the Authority is authorised to remove the cause of damage, in addition to charging the person or party responsible for the damage 20% of the cost of removing the damage.”
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