UAE gets first unified electronic platform for drones

By Rajive Singh

ABU DHABI 19 December 2017: The first unified electronic platform for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and air vehicles to be used in the UAE for recreational, service and commercial purposes has been announced.

The platform, entitled ‘Unified Pilot System for Unmanned Aircraft Products and Systems’, is in line with the UAE government’s keenness to provide a civil aviation environment and a safe community for practice. It will be used to obtain unmanned aircraft information and conform to the UAE standards established by the Committee for Monitoring the Implementation of the Light Sports System.

The details of the platform were announced on Monday by Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Chairman of the Light Air Sports Committee, Abdullah Abdul Qader Al Maeeni, Director-General of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma), and Omar Saeed bin Ghalib, Deputy Director-General at the General Civil Aviation Authority.

Major General Al Raisi confirmed that the committee, formed at the end of 2015 with the participation of strategic partners from government agencies, has taken up a number of initiatives and projects, and carried out mass awareness campaigns, as well as issued regulations and laws related to the safety and security of civil aviation and air traffic.

Safety First

The committee submitted proposals for legislation in line with the federal government’s intention of providing a sound environment for practicing this type of sport, without prejudice to legislation and legal instructions, or violation of public safety requirements such as threatening the safety of people and property, public or private.

“The development of UAV technology is on the rise locally and globally, and with the continued improvement in technology, we are likely to see rapid growth in UAV activity in the next few years. While UAVs have the potential to have a positive impact on many parts of life in the UAE, they can also pose a number of risks, especially in safety, security and privacy, if not properly used,” said Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Civil Aviation Authority.

Commenting on the announcement, Al Maeeni said that the authority is fundamentally concerned with raising the standards of quality of life in the UAE. “This is achieved through the technical authority, which has developed the technical regulations in coordination with its strategic partners.

Register Products

“Traders and suppliers are now required to register their products from unmanned aircraft through the unified electronic platform, which will be introduced today, an electronic platform for registering products that will be used in the country’s atmosphere in accordance with the requirements and standards of the General Authority for Civil Aviation.

“The legalisation of this issue represents a proactive step by ESMA and its strategic partners to avoid any potential challenges or obstacles arising from the expansion of UAVs in a federal endeavour that ensures a positive impact on society from the evolution of technology, not the other way around.

“These measures contribute to supporting the national economy and avoiding any negative consequences resulting from the expansion of the use of unmanned aircraft. The UAE regulation is the first of its kind in the world and will help anyone who wishes to develop a system of auditing these products,” Al Maeeni said in conclusion.