Au­thor­i­ties set up no-fly zones in Dubai

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @Sar­watNasir sar­wat@7days.ae

New no-fly zones for drones have been re­vealed by the Dubai Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (DCAA), in­clud­ing a ban on us­ing the de­vices near air­ports and royal palaces.

The de­mar­cat­ing of red and green zones fol­lows an in­ci­dent last year in which drones were flown into the airspace around Dubai In­ter­na­tional Air­port, forc­ing the au­thor­i­ties to close the airspace for 55 min­utes, a DCAA of­fi­cial said.

Michael Ru­dolph, head of avi­a­tion reg­u­la­tion and safety, said the in­ci­dent cost the Dubai econ­omy $1 mil­lion each minute it was closed.

Speak­ing to 7DAYS on the side­lines of the World Avi­a­tion Safety Sum­mit yes­ter­day, he said: “There was a drone in­cur­sion for one day that caused us to close the airspace for 55 min­utes and with a sim­ple cal­cu­la­tion - $1 mil­lion per minute - that’s what it cost the econ­omy of Dubai and we can’t af­ford By Sar­wat Nasir some­thing like that to hap­pen again. That’s why we started the process of reg­is­tra­tion of drones. “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.

“We are draw­ing up a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the Dubai Po­lice to de­cide what the penalty and rep­ri­mand will be for those who fly within a red zone.”

The DCAA is also look­ing at in­tro­duc­ing tech­nol­ogy onto air­craft that can de­tect nearby drones. The Ex­po­nent por­tal will au­to­mat­i­cally alert pi­lots and com­mand cen­tres if a drone is fly­ing near the air­craft’s ac­cord­ing to Ru­dolph.

Avi­a­tion au­thor­i­ties across the globe are ex­am­in­ing how to en­sure drones, which have be­come pop­u­lar with pho­tog­ra­phers, can be kept out of flight paths.

Last Oc­to­ber, a Bri­tish Air­ways crew spot­ted a drone while it was try­ing land at JFK New York. Two months ear­lier, a JetBlue air­liner re­ported see­ing a flyer 100ft away as it landed at the same air­port. vicin­ity,

Ru­dolph said the ar­rival of drones is both “good and bad”.

He said: “The good be­ing that it pro­vides for ex­cel­lent videog­ra­phy that we see on YouTube on a daily ba­sis. The bad news is the neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tion it has at­tached to the com­mer­cial oper­a­tions.”

CLIPPED: Re­stric­tions have been placed on drone use in Dubai

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