Starting Septemner, the UAE will begin mandatorily registering drones used for recreational or commercial purposes in the country, it was announced today.
According to Abdulla Abdul Qader Al Maeeni, director general of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), UAE authorities will begin to implement the list of technical requirements for registration of such drones.
“Traders and suppliers have three months to comply with the regulation in the UAE,” he said, adding that such a regulation is the first of its kind globally and was a must for the safety of passengers as drones can obstruct air navigation in particular.
He pointed to studies that showed that financial losses from drone obstruction at airports extend to wasting the time of 203 passengers per flight.
According to him, the direct costs of violating air traffic caused by the unsafe use of such drones may reach Dhs350,000 per minute.
Some of the more prominent points under ESMA’s requirements for drone operation the country include:
# All products must bear an explanatory mark and warning in the guidance manual in Arabic and English
# The manual must also include the requirements for safe operation, provided by the requirements of the General Authority for Civil Aviation
# The frequency of the aircraft shall be compatible with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) allocation
# There will be the provision of a central mechanism to track any drone in the UAE markets or airspace through a serial number
# All products must be certified by the manufacturer, bearing the factory’s signature and stamp
# All products must include detailed information on the manufacturer’s address, brand, and classification of the purpose of using the drone commercial, industrial, recreational, service
# All products must specify the technical characteristics of the product regarding weight, electromagnetic compatibility, the property of satellite positioning, bandwidth, speed, and other details
# Drone makers and dealers will be required to submit a request for an ESMA product status statement starting from the beginning of next September
# All such applications will be submitted via ESMA’s website
The rules come after many instances of drones stopping air traffic in Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports. In September 2016, the airport suffered an airspace closure on Wednesday due to unauthorized drone activity, the second such disruption within four months.
Since then, the UAE has come down had on operators. In February this year, the General Civil Aviation Authority has stipulated that commercial operators of drones in the country have to pay a fee of Dhs50,000 ($13,624) per year.
In November last year, the authority also teamed up with Nokia to develop a system that could help manage and monitor the operation of drones by businesses and government agencies in the UAE.