Sanad Academy, DCAA launch first ever drones’ awareness campaign

Sanad Academy, UAE’s first RPAS training academy, along with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), and representation from Ministry of Defense, hosted the first ever of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), “All About Drones” awareness initiative for the general public. The event was attended by more than 100 hobbyists, professional and commercial operators from Dubai.

Michael Rudolph, Head of Airspace Safety, Aviation Safety & Environment Sector, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and Yahya Al Zarooni, Security Officer from Ministry of Defense, explained the rules and regulations, as well as responded to many questions about RPAS/Drone operations within the Emirate of Dubai.

Michael Rudolph said: “The DCAA has registered over 800 RPAS or drone operators in Dubai and the number is increasing daily. According to the new regulatory framework, every drone operator needs to be registered with the DCAA.

As the local Authority, the DCAA wants to ensure that every operator, whether hobbyist, professional and or commercial, operates safely within the rules and regulations of the DCAA, while in the Emirate of Dubai. To address the questions which operators had, ranging from rules, registration requirements, safe areas for drone photography, RPAS/Drone safety and maintenance, we are creating awareness about safe drone operations at every level.

Today’s initiative, organized by Sanad Academy, and supported by the DCAA, is the first where we are directly interacting with public. Further, education as well as school participation and training programs in this technology will be announced soon.

As part of the DCAA’s Regulatory framework and in support of Law (7) of 2015, concerning airspace safety and security, as well as the most recent Resolution (4) to this Law, it is mandatory for all operators (Commercial and Non-Commercial) to register their RPAS with DCAA. This is to enable them to operate safely and legally within the Emirate of Dubai.

Addressing the queries by operators, Michael Rudolph said: “If you purchase a drone, you are required to register with DCAA. We have the regulation, security check and training requirement for the operators, all of which ensures that you fly safely and we keep Dubai’s skies safe.” Rudolph explained that drone operators can also get third-party insurance for their Drone operations.

He also asked operators to ensure that they do not breach privacy laws when they take images and do not fly their RPAS in any way that could endanger people and or property.

“It is illegal to fly your RPAS over congested areas such as streets, and within 50 metres of a person, vehicle, building structure or overhead groups of people at any height as well as stay well clear of the no-fly zones and all sensitive areas around airports, airfields and all other security and Government Installations” he said.

Mansour Al Blooshi, Chairman of Sanad Air Academy, which has been endorsed by the DCAA to provide for RPAS/Drone training, and or registration, said: “We have registered as competent, more than 400 operators and about 80 government entities within the last year.

The certification involves both flight training, as well as system checks on the RPAS/Drone for safe operations. The operators are given basic, professional and commercial certification on successfully completing theory, flight test, airworthiness on their RPAS/Drone, as well as a verbal interview on their skillset.

A training log is created to monitor the progress of the operator through various levels of instruction. This awareness campaign is the beginning of further awareness sessions for RPAS operators within Dubai.”

Sanad Academy, which has been in operation for over a year now, adopts a testing criteria specially designed to fairly evaluate drone operator’s knowledge and skillset as to safe drone operations and flight skills. Sanad also tests the operators drone and support equipment to ensure full compliance with DCAA safety standards.

Sheban Naim, a hobbyist and commercial drone operator, who attended the awareness campaign, said: “The direct interaction with DCAA has been immensely helpful, the operators gained a lot of clarity on rules and regulations and many doubts were clarified directly by the authority, which makes us confident about flying safely.”

Phil Angel, a commercial Operator of RPAS/Drones within the UAE said “DCAA remains a world leader in Drone/RPAS Registration, Safety Oversight, Tracking, and Governance, and their continued support of the UAS Industry is recognised worldwide”. 

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