Dubai makes licenses mandatory for all drone users

To curb the rising drone intrusions in restricted airspace, the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) is bracing down on rogue drones by imposing mandatory license for drone operators. The authority has directed that people will be permitted to access a drone only if they own a license. So they should apply for the permit at the earliest.

As per the new directions, which will be effective from May 1, retail outlets in the emirates, including dark commercial centers like Dragon Mart, won't be able to offer drones unless the purchaser has finished the DCAA enrollment procedure to obtain a permit.

"People will be able to purchase drones at any retail outlets in Dubai, but they won't be allowed to take it out from the store unless they have a permit," Michael Rudolph, head of airspace safety, aviation safety and0 environment sector, DCAA, said. The buyers will have to undergo a mandatory training program to check their drone skills, he added.

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Currently, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of UAE has also directed the drone operators to register drones with them. Over 1,000 drone users are registered in the emirate of which 60 operate commercially.

Rudolph further revealed that the experts have already begun introducing "sky officer" framework, an innovation created in-house, in every registered drone from 2017, which permits it to track drone movement progressively.

DCAA, GCAA, and other emirates are jointly working to set a common standard rule for the drones, sources added.

This rule was imposed after the drone intrusion at Dubai International Airport led to extreme traffic chaos and a huge monetary loss last year.

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