UAE’s aviation watchdog General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has announced that it will issue new regulations regarding the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones in the country’s civil airspace.
The rules are to ensure aviation safety and to smoothen air traffic, state news agency WAM reported.
GCAA Director-General Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi said that the regulatory body had formed a special national committee in 2013 to conduct a comprehensive survey and draft detailed legislations for operating drones.
He added that such regulations will prevent the use of the country’s airspace without prior permit from the GCAA and necessary coordination with air traffic authorities.
New regulations being planned by the UAE will also ban the use of UAVs near airports, residential areas, public properties and other restricted places.
GCAA said that the rules will cover both commercial and corporate use of drones in the country.
Al Suwaidi urged all members the public to abide by the new regulations and abstain from using UAVs in negative ways that might affect the safety and security of aviation, individuals and facilities.
The statement comes after unauthorised drones in Dubai’s airspace temporarily halted air traffic for 55 minutes on Friday.
The UAE currently uses drones for official purposes such as to deliver documents and packages to its citizens as part of its efforts to upgrade government services.
In line with that policy, the Gulf country also launched Drones for Good award, a competition to invent UAVs to deliver government services. The contest, which is slated to be held in February this year, has received more than 800 entries from 57 countries.