International aerospace experts will convene in Abu Dhabi at the third Global Aerospace Summit on March 7 & 8, 2016, to discuss the rapidly changing role of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).With a rapidly growing high-tech aerospace sector, the UAE stands to benefit from the expansion of civilian UAV use. A number of UAE governmental organizations are studying the integration of drones into their services. Although civilian UAV technology has been identified by the UAE government as a key area of focus for investment and research, its misuse has been identified as a major potential risk.
The Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi has banned the sale of commercial drones in a move to preserve aviation security and safety, as well as community privacy. The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) has made similar restrictions in a decree to manage the responsible use of drones, fireworks, lasers, and light beams issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai.
In January 2015, an unidentified commercial drone caused a disruption in Dubai International Airport operations. Authorities halted air traffic at DXB for 55 minutes after detecting a flying drone in the navigation path of airplanes. Following this incident, UAE authorities called for new rules to be issued on the use of commercial drones.
The commercial and entertainment use of drones in the UAE now requires a permit to be obtained from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA.)
Unmanned systems for military use can have important benefits such as enhanced performance, reduced cost and can also eliminate the risks that personnel may face during specialized missions. Being unmanned, they allow individuals to avoid perilous or risky situations, while accessing data or monitoring the mission from a safe location.
As an industry example, Textron Systems has been involved in unmanned aviation for decades, not just designing and manufacturing systems, but also training, deploying, operating, and maintaining them for military and commercial customers around the world.
Textron Systems supports its UAS customers with flexible business models to accommodate a range of customer needs. These include complete turnkey fee-for-service mission delivery, system sales, and a hybrid approach where the company trains new operators and maintainers— even while executing missions with its own experienced staff.
“The Global Aerospace Summit brings together thought leaders from the aerospace, aviation, defense and space industries, alongside key decision makers and officials,” says Senior Vice President and General Manager Bill Irby of Textron Systems. “Together, we are able to discuss advanced technologies and operational concepts on a global stage.”
UAE firms such as Adcom Systems, Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI), and International Golden Group (IGG) are already building UAV operational and maintenance capabilities in ventures with firms from the United States, France, and Spain.
ADASI foresees a $4.5 billion UAV market over the period from 2014 to 2023 in the Middle East, representing about 10 percent of the global UAV market during that period.
Charlie Simpson, Director UAE, BAE Systems, said: “BAE Systems has long had an interest in the development and technologies associated with unmanned aircraft systems. Used appropriately these technologies have the potential to save lives when utilised for such things as coast guard operations, fighting forest fires and search and rescue missions.
“Key to this is the safe integration of UAS into all types of airspace. This can only be achieved by system developers working closely with the regulatory authorities to ensure that UAS safety levels are equivalent to those of manned systems, and their operation is transparent to all air users. Whilst these systems are now adopting high levels of automation, there is always a human in the loop to command systems and to communicate with Air Traffic Control.
“Key technologies and regulatory frameworks are being developed in the UK via our involvement in such initiatives as the ASTRAEA programme, which has already demonstrated maturing technologies such as “sense & avoid” and seeks to prove through a staged approach how unmanned aircraft systems could achieve routine airworthiness certification.”
Source: Arabian Aerospace