Dubai considers plan for desert airfield to cater for aerial vehicles
Nokia has set out plans for a drone airfield to help regulate a technology that is often in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
A series of forced closures of airspace around Dubai International Airport this year, and Sharjah International on one occasion, has sparked calls for better monitoring and control of unmanned aerial vehicles.
This week it was announced that the Finnish firm and the UAE Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have signed an agreement to look at building a tailor-made airfield and ‘droneport’.
It would allow commercial firms, hobbyists and government departments to fly while having the support of controllers on the ground and a system to track the devices.
Nokia believes the site would lead to parcel deliveries, rescue operations and field By Shoshana Kedem exploration, along with private hobbyists.
Among the key changes would be allowing pilots to fly their drone out of sight, using a camera to navigate, which is not currently allowed. Controllers would also be able to send messages to pilots, including to stay away from no-fly zones and the scene of accidents.
Ashish Tandon, from Nokia Middle East, told 7DAYS: “That’s the biggest challenge – how do you fly drones beyond the line of sight but also have real-time information for the pilot so they understand flight restrictions are not being violated?”
Here we look at just how the new drone field would work...