Dubai aviation authorities on Sunday hailed the emirate’s new drone law, saying it will generate new global opportunities and business streams for the industry. They also revealed how key entities will help turn the law’s vision into reality – from drone deliveries to flying taxis.
The new law – which was issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday – regulates the operations of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). It takes the emirate a step closer to connecting its landmarks and buildings aerially, through the ‘Sky Dome’ project that will see the rise of mini airports and landing pads for drones.
Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC) and its affiliated corporations Dubai South and Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) will be playing a key role in creating a supportive environment for businesses in the smart aviation sector, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the DACC.
“As a future-ready city, Dubai is on track to becoming an international centre for drone manufacturing, smart transport, and innovation in air transport,” Sheikh Ahmed added.
Unique aerospace platform
For international drone companies planning to establish their businesses in the emirate, the infrastructure is already in place, with Dubai South boasting a unique aerospace platform called Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH).
Logistics and e-commerce companies in Dubai South will benefit from the law, which provides a clear legal framework for transporting and delivering goods and packages using drones.
It will particularly support the strategy behind EZDubai, a purpose-built e-commerce zone in Dubai South, which is set to become a major hub for e-commerce and innovation.
The emirate also offers an integrated ecosystem, strategic gateway, and free zone status and other benefits for drone companies that will establish their bases in Dubai to tap markets in the region.
Building drone airports
With its skilled workforce and accumulated experience in planning, designing, and constructing Dubai’s aviation infrastructure,
DAEP will play a vital role in realising the leadership’s vision for smart transportation and innovation by using drones to meet the needs of government entities.
DAEP, known for its experience in building the emirate’s aviation infrastructure, will design and supervise the construction of drone airports for the government’s use, including related facilities. It will also be the government arm authorised to approve engineering designs related to private drone airports.
Comprising 10 chapters and 50 articles on the regulation of drone activities in Dubai and the roles of various government entities in these operations, the law clarifies responsibilities related to the governance of drone activities. It also outlines guidelines for drone operations; operators and their obligations; infrastructure development related to drones, including airports, permitted fly zones, airspace design and management and air paths for drones; permitted altitudes for drones activities; and protection of data gathered by drones, among others.