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Drones could have special air corridors in Dubai

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on August 26, 2020 | Last updated on August 26, 2020 at 06.28 am
RTA, flying taxi, Dubai Air Navigation Services

This agreement represents yet another step towards realising a Dubai where smart vehicles whizz through its skies.

An agreement signed in Dubai will chart out air corridors for autonomous aerial vehicles, it was announced on Tuesday. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS) will define safety and security protocols of aerial transport within the geographical perimeters of Dubai "through advanced technologies".

"The MoU aims to step up cooperation in studying laws relating to autonomous air vehicles, participating in specialist workshops held by either party and coordinating efforts in research and development and innovations in relevant fields," said Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of public transport agency and head of the autonomous air vehicle project team, RTA.

The RTA and DANS have agreed to facilitate the procedures and share information about specialist and advanced firms; test programmes; and define specifications of take-off and landing sites for autonomous air vehicles, among others. "The signing of the MoU is part of our efforts to support the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed at transforming 25 per cent of total mobility trips in Dubai into autonomous trips by 2030. It also fits with our aim to enhance the integration of mass transit means and add happiness to people through the deployment of smooth, fast and innovate transit means," added Bahrozyan.

Ibrahim Ahli, deputy CEO at DANS, said the DANS would "harness its resources and expertise to serve Dubai's future strategy in the field of smart air transport".

"DANS has an innovative culture supported by a team of top air navigation experts, which assures the realisation of our common objectives with the RTA. Autonomous air vehicles are a key component of the vision of the UAE and Dubai and engaging in this cooperation will bolster their ability to anticipate the future requirements worldwide."

Dubai has previously tested the world's first self-flying taxi service. A video released back in 2017 shows the autonomous taxi taking off against the stunning backdrop of the Dubai skyline and it is seen soaring over the city before landing safely at the same spot.

This agreement represents yet another step towards realising a Dubai where smart vehicles whizz through its skies. Last month, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a law regulating the operations of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The Sky Dome project will connect places and buildings through landing pads and mini airports across the city. The law will pave the way for granting instant government permits and NOCs to public and private entities in order for them to use drones to provide related services in the future, such as flying taxis and drone delivery services.


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