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Abu Dhabi Bans Sale of Recreational Drones – The Importance of Adhering to Regulations

Recreational drones have been banned from sale in Abu Dhabi because they pose a risk to aviation. The ban was announced on Wednesday by the Abu Dhabi Business Centre, an affiliate of the Department of Economic Development, to reduce the number of drones in the air and ensure they were not being misused.

It will be enforced until new laws on drone use are issued. “Stopping the sale of drones comes within the mandate of the centre to regulate and control commercial activities that may negatively affect community security,” said Mohammed Al Rumaithi, acting executive director of the centre. But despite being officially warned, some shops in Abu Dhabi were selling drones yesterday. Mohammed Mujahid, a team leader at one shop, said he had a model on offer for Dh4,900 – the Phantom – with a built-in camera for stills and videos.

Mr Mujahid said he had read about the ban online and was warned by the centre on Wednesday. “Yesterday I had a guy from the municipality who warned us not to sell this anymore,” he said. “Its sale now in the market is prohibited. But we need to finish the stock because they’re very expensive and I am going to lose too much money. “I still have five pieces to sell. I’ll keep them until I finish them. I won’t get a new lot.” He said the ban must have been introduced for security reasons. “These drones come with built-in cameras,” Mr Mujahid said. “I think the Government wanted to stop sales because people might use them for illegal activities.”

In January, air traffic was suspended at Dubai International Airport after reports that drones were being flown dangerously close to planes. Mr Al Rumaithi said the ban was to protect “aviation security and safety”. A committee was formed in 2013 to study the use of drones and draft laws that added to “regulations in force to prevent the use of airspace without prior permission from the competent authority”.

Ahmed Al Qubaisi, acting director of the centre’s commercial protection department, said: “The centre has begun to address all sales outlets and shops in Abu Dhabi to request them to stop selling drones to the public.” He said his department would increase inspections of shops to ensure the ban was being followed. Laws to regulate the weight and use of drones are to be announced soon, the state news agency Wam reported. People may still be allowed to use drones if they have obtained government approval. The laws will also set controls for drone use by government agencies and private companies, which will need an official permit before flying them in UAE airspace.

Some stores had adhered to the ban. “We were dealing with drones before but now we have stopped selling,” said a staff member at the Virgin Megastore in Al Wahda Mall. He said the store used to sell different kinds of drones, which cost between Dh1,000 and Dh4,000. The business centre called for the ban to be enforced and for the public to stop buying drones until the laws were issued. The General Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday said: “The GCAA is in the final stage of finalising a regulation concerning drones and other aviation sports activities.

“For safety, we need to ensure all safety measures such as technical and aviation knowledge of the user, age of the user, drones type, drones technology, airspace availability and awareness are in place before drones can be allowed to fly over public or in the city.” Last month, the US Federal Aviation Administration introduced legislation stating that drone users needed pilot certificates and banning their use at night.

The laws also set a maximum flying speed of 160 kph and an altitude ceiling of about 150 metres.

Source: The National

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Australian UAS Operating Applications Continue to Soar

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) says it is being inundated with an unprecedented number of applications to commercially operate drones.

As the technology improves and prices decline, drones have become more accessible in recent years and there are many models on the market.

Drones are also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) but CASA refers to them as remote-piloted aircraft (RPAs) to emphasise the human element controlling and overseeing the aircraft from the ground.

They are becoming increasingly popular in difficult and expensive-to-reach parts of regional and remote Australia.

“They’re being used in agriculture, mining, by police forces, fire brigades, aerial photography, survey work, mapping, all sorts of things … and the applications people are putting them to broadens all the time,” CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said.

“There are about 200 approved operators across Australia for remotely-piloted aircraft.

“At any one time we’ve got probably about 30-odd applications before us, and they’re being progressively approved so it is still a growing and vibrant area of Australian aviation.”

In 2010 the CSIRO began research into whether using drones could make cattle mustering cheaper and more efficient.

Principal research scientist Dr Dave Henry said the project involved equipping a drone with a thermal camera in order to locate livestock in extensive rangelands in Queensland.

“One of the issues that the industry has up there is being able to muster all their animals at key times of the year,” he said.

“So if we can actually locate them before mustering, then they can organise their helicopters and their crews to be in the right place at the right time.”

Dr Henry said the CSIRO was now looking at how the tool could be used more broadly.

Broome resident Shayne Thomson has been using a drone recreationally for the past 12 months.

However, his vision is to use drones for planning and environmental purposes.

“These quads and the views they can get with the cameras they’ve got fitted with them now can be used for monitoring coastal erosion,” he said.

Some of the earliest documented uses of drones were during warfare, when balloons were fitted with cameras for military reconnaissance.

Most recent designs include small quads with helicopter-like blades, and light toy-like planes operated by remote control and sometimes even monitored with cameras fitted to goggles so that from a great distance the operator can see where they are flying.

Depending on the model and use of the drone, there are various height, weight and licensing conditions set out by CASA.

Mr Gibson said those using a drone for commercial purposes in Australia must obtain an operator’s certificate from CASA.

He said although CASA was fighting to keep up with the number of applications to be processed, Australia was leading the charge.

“We’re one of the first countries in the world to actually have a set of rules covering and allowing for commercial remotely-piloted-aircraft operations,” he said.

“Countries like the United States for example still haven’t actually got that, so we’re very lucky that we put those rules into place more than 10 years ago, but keeping up now is the challenge.”

Mr Thomson takes his drone to Gantheaume Beach where there is plenty of room to glide and film the town’s famous sunsets.

He said he used the drone for fun and therefore did not need a license, but he warned recreational users should take a commonsense approach.

“The main thing is to fly within the rules and regulations by CASA because if everybody does that, then people will be able to continue using these for recreational purposes,” he said.

Source: ABC

– See more at: http://www.uasvision.com/2015/03/10/australian-uas-operating-applications-continue-to-soar/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=52800c7c14-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_term=0_799756aeb7-52800c7c14-239456333#sthash.8SjSrGNi.dpuf

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UAS International unveils unmanned systems safety standard

Consulting company UAS International has launched what it says is the world’s first safety and risk management standard for unmanned aircraft.

Unveiled on Thursday with launch partners QBE Australia and the Nine Network Australia, the UAS International Standard is aimed at providing a greater degree of safety and risk assurance for customers engaging the services of unmanned systems operators and air travellers sharing the skies with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

“The new standard developed by UAS International is based on and meets the compliance requirements of the latest International Civil Aviation Organisation guidance material,” UAS International chairman and former head of safety at Qantas Ron Bartsch said.

“The regulatory framework in the world of unmanned aircraft has simply not kept up with technology.”

Sydney-based UAS International says compliant operators are expected to benefit through reduced insurance premiums, while helping to improve public perceptions of UAS safety.

The consulting company has assured customers using unmanned systems for tasks such as aerial photography, media reporting, fire fighting, surveillance or agricultural operations that  they can be confident due diligence has been done on approved operators.

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AUSA @ National Mine Surveyor's UAV Workshop 10 Mar 15

AIMS_Emerald Remote Sensing and UAV Workshop

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New Malware Can Bring Down Drones Mid-Flight

Maldrone bills itself as the “first backdoor for drones.” Developed by security researcher Rahul Sasi, this malware tricks a drone’s autonomous decision-making unit into handing over control to a hacker. Once the drone has been infected, that hacker can do anything from flying the drone to the destination of their choice to making the drone just drop out of the sky.

Sasi demonstrated Maldrone’s ability in a demo and outlined the specifics of the malware on a hacker forum.

This isn’t the first time someone’s developed malware for UAVs—it really isn’t—but it is unique for a few reasons. First of all, as Sasi himself points out, past malware targets the drone’s API, whereas Maldrone goes straight for the brain—the autonomous decision-making unit.

And unlike past hacks that were specific to a particular make and model of drone, Maldrone is designed to work with any drone software. The demo shows the malware taking over a Parrot AR drone, but Sasi says he’s also implementing the malware on a DJI Phantom.

Source: Gizmodo

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Unlicensed UAS Pilots Face One Year Jail in Thailand

Personal drones will come under control under a new regulation now being drawn by the Transport Ministry in Thailand.

These personal drones are considered a threat to aviation as they can fly at high altitude and at random path, and also a violation of privacy of others as they are equipped with spy cameras.

The proposed control to be forwarded to the cabinet for approval was revealed by Transport Minister ACM Prajin Juntong at the weekend.

ACM Prajin stated that the new regulation is being drawn up by the Civil Aviation Department under the Air Navigation Act and will be submitted for approval by the cabinet before coming into effect next month.

He said the regulation will control the use of two types of drones, first for sports, education and research, and second for personal use.

The penalties for unauthorised use of drones will be a one-year imprisonment and a fine of 40,000 baht.

ACM Prajin said the first type of drones normally do not fly too high, so their flight paths could be contained in specific areas.

But for personal drones, he said they would be strictly controlled, because they can fly at great heights and could violate others’ rights.

Besides, these drones could pose safety threat to air traffic safety and to national security, he said.

ACM Prajin said these unmanned aerial aircraft are often found to have been fitted with cameras and are sometimes used to spy, or intrude on people’s privacy.

Under the new regulation to be put in force, weight and size as well as fuel consumption will be fixed for drones..

One of the stipulations is that drone will not be allowed to be in the air over an hour, and permission to fly drones must be sought from the Transport Ministry.

And significantly, personal drone installed with surveillance camera is prohibited to be airborne. However, it allows drones with cameras only for businesses that require photography, such as for film making and for news media use.

Drone will be allowed to fly at a height of between 15-150 metres to avoid disrupting commercial planes, which usually fly at altitudes of at least 305 metres.

But flying too low is also prohibited as it could disturb residential areas.

Source: Thai PBS

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Drones and public liability

V-TOL AUSA Utility Mag Article Feb 2015

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QLD man fined for flying a drone illegally

IF YOU’VE got a drone and haven’t been keeping a close eye on the regulations that outline where and when you can fly it — be very careful. Uploading videos taken from your drone to the internet could result in the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) sending you a hefty fine.

One Queensland drone pilot found this out the hard way, after receiving an $850 fine for his drone use — all based on videos he had uploaded to YouTube.

infringement notice

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fine. Source: Supplied

The owner — who does not wish to be named, received a phone call from a CASA investigator notifying him of multiple breaches. Each of which could have resulted in an $850 fine. In the end his single $850 fine, obtained by EFTM.com.au was a lucky break with the CASA investigator stating, “while each individual breach was not major in itself, the number of breaches has caused me concern”.

CASA regulations state that hobbyists who fly for no commercial gain cannot fly their drones:

• Within 3 nautical miles of an airport;

• Above 400 feet in controlled airspace (large towns and cities);

• Over populous areas;

• Within 30 meters of people;

• At night.

The most popular drone on the market, the DJI Phantom — has software built into it that can prevent it taking off near airports and limit its height. The problem seems to be the owners who want to toy with the regulators, because they think no-one is watching.

Unmanned Aircraft

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost all consumer drones come equipped with the ability to record film. Source: Supplied

For this Queensland owner, the specific offence outlined in this infringement was “operating a model aircraft over a populous area at a height less than the height from which, if any of its components fails, it would be able to clear the area.”

So does CASA have staff watching online videos to find offenders? Peter Gibson, spokesman for CASA told EFTM, “I’m not going to pretend we sit there every day trawling through YouTube because that would be ridiculous. However, where we see things, or where people bring things to our attention then we will investigate”.

The fines can range anywhere from $850 for breaches of the basic guidelines, right through to $8,000 for “reckless operation”, with Mr Gibson pointing out “if you injure someone, CASA can also seek prosecution.

We’re not trying to penalise people, but if you behave stupidly, then you certainly run the risk”.

When the fine was sent this week, it also had attached a set of “Facts and Circumstances”. This document outlined the reasons for the fine, including that CASA had been alerted to the videos, which prompted their investigation.

Facts and Circumstances

 

 

 

 

 

Aviation regulators seem aware that people aren’t particularly familiar with the rules. Source: Supplied

The owner of the drone has been thoroughly deterred and has reportedly put it up for sale on Gumtree. However with drones becoming more readily available, it’s certainly likely that CASA will be dishing out more fines.

The drone in question has already appeared for sale on online classifieds site Gumtree, and one can only assume this fine has scared the flights out of this pilot.

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ICAO to Publish ‘Manual on RPAS’ in March 2015

The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) new Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Panel aims to deliver standards for unmanned aircraft to the organisation’s governing council in 2018. Once approved, the standards will guide ICAO’s 191 member states in setting their own national regulations. The overall process of producing RPAS standards is expected to take a decade or longer.

The panel’s current focus “is on development of standards and recommended practices (SARPs) for adoption by the Council of ICAO in 2018 related to airworthiness, operations (including RPAS operator certification) and licensing of remote pilots,” Leslie Cary, ICAO’s RPAS programme manager, wrote in response to an AIN query. “Guidance material related to command and control in support of airworthiness and operations certifications will be part of the 2018 deliverable.”

The panel plans to complete SARPs for air traffic management and “detect and avoid” requirements for unmanned aircraft in 2020, said Cary, who serves as the RPAS Panel secretary. “Most topics will take several years and several packages to complete; the 2018 packages will be the start of a very complex activity,” she said. “We anticipate a rolling delivery of SARPs, Procedures for Air Navigation Services and guidance material on a biennial basis for the next 10+ years until all the topics are complete.”

Twenty-one states and nine international organizations nominated members to serve on the panel, Cary said. The members held their first meeting in late November and elected Randy Willis, manager of air traffic strategic operations with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, to serve as chairman, and Mike Gadd, manager of aircraft certification with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, as vice chairman. The panel’s next meeting will be held June 15-19 in Montreal.

The RPAS Panel replaced a lower-level Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Group that ICAO formed in 2007. The study group produced several guidance documents, including Document 10019, or “Manual on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems,” which ICAO expects to publish in March. The manual “serves as an educational tool for states, industry, service providers and other stakeholders on most of the topics that comprise the regulatory framework,” Cary said. “It discusses how existing manned aviation provisions apply to unmanned (aircraft) and provides some guidance on how to address the gaps. The material will be revised and expanded as the actual regulatory framework develops and is adopted.”

Aerospace companies in Europe and the U.S. are developing UAVs to meet current manned and future unmanned aircraft certification requirements. In October, Airbus Defence in Spain formally applied to the European Aviation Safety Agency for civil type certification of its 1,256-pound Atlante UAV—the continent’s first such application. Airbus said a second Atlante is now flying “and has been conducting various trials of different sensors, systems and guidance techniques.”

France’s Sagem completed a series of test flights of its one-ton Patroller UAV near Toulouse in November that demonstrated “a complete anti-collision function.” The project also demonstrated the Patroller’s ability to perform approaches to Toulouse-Blagnac airport based on ATC procedures.

In the U.S., General Atomics, the FAA and NASA conducted flight tests in November of NASA’s Ikhana Predator B fitted with a “detect and avoid” suite, including General Atomics’ due regard electronically scanned radar.

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Fly Safe, Fly Legal

A new web page at www.flysafeflylegal.co.uk has been launched in time for Christmas to help guide people who are unaware of the rules and regulations for flying unmanned aircraft safely.

Remote controlled flying platforms are set to be one of the top Christmas presents for 2014. The rules and regulations enforced by the UK Civil Aviation Authority to protect the safety of the operator and general public are not widely known. There is a need for much greater awareness by operators of their obligations stresses Dave Peacey, Air Safety Manager and *NQE (SUA) Assessor at Resource Group.

“We’ve launched this webpage to help people who receive an unmanned aircraft as a gift to understand what the restrictions are for flying safely and legally, before they take to the skies.

“Unmanned aircraft can be dangerous if not handled correctly and flying for commercial purposes without the correct permissions from the CAA could lead to criminal prosecution. This doesn’t have to be the case, as long as people are sensible and follow the rules.”

Resource Group offers theoretical and practical training through its course, Remote Pilot Qualification small (RPQ-s), for those looking to apply for and gain Permissions for Aerial Work from the CAA to fly unmanned aircraft commercially. The course is also suitable for those who only intend to fly for leisure purposes but wish to expand their knowledge on subjects such as air law and airmanship.

For more information on the Resource Group’s RPQ-s course visit www.resourcegroup.co.uk/uas

– See more at: http://www.uasvision.com/2014/12/24/fly-safe-fly-legal/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dd08c44071-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_term=0_799756aeb7-dd08c44071-239458957#sthash.QbsvFsuA.dpuf

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