In his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, issued Law No. (10) of 2023 amending certain articles of Law No. (4) of 2020 that regulate the use of drones in Dubai, with the aim of enhancing safety standards.
The new law amends article Nos. (7), (20), (21), and (23) of Law No. (4) of 2020 and replaces them with new articles that outline approved criteria for the design and operation of ‘Drone Airports’ in Dubai. Additionally, the new law also mandates the development of necessary infrastructure and provision of fuel and power supply for these airports.
The new law stipulates that the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), in coordination with other relevant authorities in Dubai, is responsible for several tasks. These include establishing and endorsing standards and criteria that are necessary for Drone Airports, approving engineering designs for both government and non-governmental use, as well as overseeing the implementation of these designs and plans for stations, facilities, and infrastructure.
The DCAA is also mandated to issue completion certificates, as long as the designs and plans comply with the Emirate’s adopted urban planning requirements and traffic and transportation control procedures. The DCAA is also responsible for setting the standards and criteria for pre-qualifying and certifying contractors and consultants involved in constructing Drone Airports and their associated stations, facilities, and infrastructure.
The Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP), in partnership with the DCAA and other relevant authorities, is responsible for a range of tasks within the boundaries of the Dubai Aviation City, as defined by Law No. (10) of 2015. These responsibilities include designing Drone Airports, stations, and infrastructure for government use, as well as overseeing their implementation in compliance with international standards.
According to the amended law, the DAEP is also tasked with approving engineering designs of Drone Airports for non-government use; prescribing the standards and criteria for the pre-qualification and certification of contractors and consultants engaged in the construction of Drone Airports and their associated stations, facilities, and infrastructure, among others.
The new law prohibits any individual from constructing infrastructure related to the operation of drones or Drone Airports, or supplying fuel for drones without obtaining a licence from the DCAA. The licence will be issued in coordination with relevant entities and in accordance with the conditions and regulations adopted by the authority in this regard.
Any provisions in other legislations that may conflict with the new law will be considered null and void. The new law will come into effect from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.