Owners must register drones and avoid restricted airspace else risk massive fines
UAE residents must register all new drones with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA).
The cost for hobbyists to register a newly purchased drone is Dhs100, while it will cost Dhs500 to register commercial drones. This will ensure the drones are fitted with a GPS tracking device that will allow the new Sky Commander Tracker Programme to alert and warn the DCAA when their flight path runs dangerously close to the path of planes flying in and out of Dubai International Airport.
Registered drone owners who fly their machines into restricted airspace above Dubai International Airport will be hit with a Dhs20,000 fine. Regulations on illegal drone use were initially passed earlier this year, as reported by Time Out Dubai.
Drone operators will be alerted by SMS to change the course of their flight immediately to stay clear of sensitive airspace. Those who do not respond will face paying the hefty fine of up to Dhs20,000.
The DCAA’s programme follows a call from Emirates last year to curb the use of drones and monitor their flight paths following the temporary closure of Dubai airport three times in 2016 due to drone intrusion.
“We are now the first authority and to my knowledge the only authority to provide for the governance of tracking unmanned aircraft system operations,” Michael Rudolph, DCAA head of airspace and environment told Gulf News.
The programme is aimed at ensuring the safety of all passengers flying through one of the world’s busiest airports.