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Drones ... controlled use.

UAE draws up legislations for drones

DUBAI, February 23, 2015

UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has started drafting regulations for using drones in the country’s airspace, a report said.

The regulations are aimed at controlling the import and distribution of these aircrafts on the local market, developing licensing criteria for the users of large-scale and advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), added the report by WAM, the official Emirates News Agency.

GCAA will also draw up permissible heights and zones for flying, the report said.

In drafting the UAV regulations, the GCAA aims to have a comprehensive study of the drone types, usage and users, as well as personal and commercial purposes of these aircrafts, WAM reported.

"GCAA promotes modern aviation-related technologies and state-of-the-art innovations within the scope of national legislation, which ensures safe aviation,” Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, GCAA director general, was quoted as saying in the report.

He highlighted the importance of collaboration with other agencies as well as issuing required licenses in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. This will reduce the unsystematic and erroneous use of drones, he said.

International efforts to develop a regulatory framework for the operation of drones are still immature. The UAE was among the few countries that laid down a regulatory framework for this type of aircraft. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is expected to develop international standards to regulate the activity over the coming five years.

The use of drones in the UAE skies could be extensive in the future, because of the number of applications from businesses, added Ismail Al Blooshi, GCAA assistant director-general for Aviation Safety Affairs.

Drones are divided into three categories; low capacity drones not exceeding 25kg in weight, mid-capacity drones ranging from 25 kg to 150kg, and advanced capacity drones, exceeding 150kg, the WAM report said.

The licensing rules of the three categories of aircrafts will be laid down for individuals, companies, and the governmental sector.

The rules and regulations of drone use and operation will include directives prohibiting their use near airports, populated communities, and individuals as well as restricted areas, the report said.

Drones must also be kept within the vision of the user, and personal use must only be conducted at authorised facilities. Cameras and telecom equipment are only allowed with the permission of authorised agencies, the report said.

Tags: UAE | Civil aviation | GCAA |

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