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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Cost of drones invading airport airspace put at Dh350,000 a minute

The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology gave the figure on Monday as it revealed that a list of drone registration requirements is being assembled.

From next month the UAE will implement a list of technical requirements for the registration of drones used for recreational or commercial purposes. Achilleas Zavallis / AFP
From next month the UAE will implement a list of technical requirements for the registration of drones used for recreational or commercial purposes. Achilleas Zavallis / AFP

The cost of drones encroaching on airport airspace and disrupting traffic has been calculated at Dh350,000 a minute.

The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology provided the figure on Monday as it revealed a list of drone registration requirements.

Registration will allow authorities to exercise more control over private ownership of drones, after several incidents at Dubai International Airport last year.

Abdulla Al Maeeni, the director general of Esma, said direct costs of breaching air traffic by the use of unlicensed drones “may reach Dh350,000 a minute”.

Mr Al Maeeni also confirmed that from next month the UAE would “implement a list of technical requirements for the registration of drones that are used for recreational or commercial purposes”.

“Traders and suppliers have three months to comply with the regulation,” he said.

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The authority has approved a list of technical requirements for drone registration, in line with the General Authority for Civil Aviation.

There will also be a “central mechanism to track drones in the UAE markets or airspace through a serial number of the product”, Mr Al Maeeni said.

The authority urged that “products must be certified by the manufacturer, bearing the factory’s signature and stamp, and include detailed information on the manufacturer’s address, brand and classification of the purpose of using the drone”.

Mr Al Maeeni said that from next month, “producers and traders need to submit a request for a product status statement via our website”. Then there would be an audit process and a certificate would be issued for a year.

Every imported drone will be halted by UAE customs and tested to ensure it matches new specifications.

Aviation officials confirmed devices would be stopped at point of entry and checked for safeguards.

These include a unique serial number that could be used to track the owner in the event of an accident and a geo-fencing chip that would prevent it from being flown close to sensitive areas, such as airports.