UAE Bans Private Drones After Fatal Attack On Abu Dhabi

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Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s Ministry of Interior has banned private drones and light sports aircraft after two Indians and a Pakistani national were killed in Abu Dhabi in a rare drone and missile attack.

The new decision has been taken due to the misuse of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as drone operators had not limited the practice of this sport to the areas identified and trespassed into places where this activity is prohibited.

In a statement, the Ministry of Interior ordered to stop all flying operations of drones and light sports aircraft for owners, practitioners and enthusiasts from January 22.

According to the statement, the ban also encompasses air and sail spots.

“The decision came after the misuse spotted recently, not limiting the practice of these sports to the areas identified in the user permits and trespassing into areas where these types of activities are prohibited,” said the statement released by the UAE’s official news agency Wam.

The regulations were put in place in coordination with the General Authority for Civil Aviation and in line with the relative guidelines, it said.

It said that exceptions might be granted for filming.

The entities that have work contracts or commercial or advertising projects that rely on filming using drones must communicate with the permit authorities to take the necessary exceptions and permits to carry out their work and projects, it said.

Last week, Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeted a fuel depot in Abu Dhabi and the city’s main airport, heightening tensions in the oil-exporting region.

The UAE blamed the attack on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, saying this sinful targeting will not go unpunished.

The UAE “reserves its right to retaliate to these terrorist attacks and this sinful criminal escalation”, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

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