Dubai sets no-fly zones for drones

New rules follow an incident at Dubai International in 2015



Dubai’s Civil Aviation Authority has introduced no-fly zones for drones banning the use of the devices near all airports and royal palaces.

7 Days newspaper cited a DCAA official as saying the demarcation of red and green zones follows an incident last year when a drone was flown into the airspace around Dubai International Airport.

This forced authorities to close the airspace for 55 minutes and cost the Dubai economy $1m for each minute that passed, according to DCAA head of aviation regulation and safety Michael Rudolph.

“We can’t afford something like that to happen again. That’s why we started the process of registration of drones,” he said, according to the publication.

“All of [these arrange­ments] come from an incident that happened last year. The red is definitely a no-fly zone. So when a drone user looks at the zones on the map and they see the red, they will know that they definitely cannot fly there.”

The new no-fly zones include Dubai International Airport, Al Minhad Air Base, the Palm Jumeirah around Skydive Dubai, while unmanned aerial vehicle operators will require licenses in nine other areas including Downtown Dubia, the Burj Khalifa and Skydive Dubai.

Registration will cost Dhs 50 for leisure users and Dhs 500 for commercial operators.

Rudolph said the DCAA was working on a memorandum of understanding with Dubai Police to decide the penalties for those who fly within a drone red zone.

The authority is also planning to introduce technology onto aircraft allowing the pilots to detect nearby drones.

This month the first collision between a drone and a commercial aircraft was suspected in the United Kingdom.

The drone struck a British Airways plane just moments before it came in to land at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Rudolph said the arrival of drones had made for some “excellent videography” but had a “negative connotation” for commercial operations.