Dubai Civil Defence to use drones to tackle high-rise fires

Unmanned aerial vehicles will provide backup and support to firefighting teams across the emirate

Dubai Civil Defence has been given approval to use drones to fight high-rise fires in the emirate.

The move from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) allows the use of drones for backup and support, state news agency Wam reported.

It will help Civil Defence to tackle fires in hard-to-reach places such as high-rise buildings, confined spaces and warehouses storing hazardous material.

“This will positively reflect on the tasks undertaken by the Civil Defence to protect lives and property, as it contributes to saving time, effort and speed in handling accidents of all kinds,” said Lt Gen Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, head of Civil Defence in Dubai.

The GCAA issued 180 operational approvals for drone systems during the first quarter of 2022.

It also approved 20,000 applications from amateur drone users, as well as 181 operators for commercial and government use, including the use of 870 drones.

However, a ban on the use of drones and light aircraft was introduced in the UAE in January after attempted attacks on Abu Dhabi by the Yemen-based Houthi terrorist group.

Companies with essential commercial projects can apply to the Ministry of Interior to ask for an exemption.

Anyone found using drones without permission could face a prison sentence of up to five years, as well as a Dh100,000 ($27,225) fine.

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Updated: May 01, 2022, 11:21 AM
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