29 Sep 2016

'Unauthorised Drone Activity' Grounds Flights at Dubai Airport

The second such incident in four months that has seen the airport forced to temporarily suspend operations. In response, the United Arab Emirates has announced plans to tighten up drone regulations.


Just after 8.00am local time (4.00 GMT) operations were suspended, with arrivals resuming service at 8.35, followed by full resumption of all operations by 9.07.

Under current UAE rules, drone owners must register with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). At present there are around 400 such drones registered, the majority for commercial use. Private individuals are permitted to use drones not fitted with cameras, but it is illegal to use drones fitted with cameras over UAE air space. Dubai Airport has sent out a reminder that no drones are permitted within 5km of any airport or landing area.

Despite the requirement for registration, according to the GCAA there is little they can do to stop an individual from buying a drone in the UAE and using it in an illegal manner.

The use of UAVs has been under discussion this week as the 2nd Drones Middle East Conference has been taking place. Recent closures of both the Abu Dhabi airport and the Dubai airport due to drones operating too close to their proximity meant that it was top of the agenda on Monday.



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