UAE law seeks to ban drones

DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will soon implement a law that will restrict import and sale of drones in the Gulf states.

This after drone intrusions stopped operations of both Dubai International Airport and Sharjah International Airports on Saturday for more than one hour. Both airports closed air operations for nearly 90 minutes to ensure airspace was clear of drone obstruction.

The temporary closure of airports’ operations caused delays to some 90 flights across Dubai.
It was the third time that both airports suspended operations due to the intrusion of drones which are affecting the safety of commercial passenger flights and airport security.

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said the new UAE law will control import and sale of drones in Dubai and other Gulf states are expected to follow suit. Abu Dhabi had already banned the sale of drones in 2015.

Mohammad Al Dossary, director of air navigation and aerodromes department, said the authority is working with the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology on the new law.

“We are working with the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology on a law that will have a framework for the UAE on the sale and import of drones. Once the law is implemented, you will have restrictions on the sale and import of drones and only certain sizes of drones will be there in the market,” Al Dossary said.

“The challenge that we are facing is people are not aware of the requirements. Several incidents have happened in the UAE caused by individuals who are not familiar with our requirements and they fly the drones.”

Drones can be purchased from Dubai retailers and being used for commercial purposes such as in making adverts, real estate, agriculture and the oil and gas industry

Dubai airport authorities said safety is a top priority reminding UAV operators that drone activities are not permitted within 5 kilometers of the airports.