Draft law on drones gets nod

STAFF REPORTER –
MUSCAT, April 10 –
The State Council on Tuesday approved the proposal for a draft law on regulating remote control aircraft (drones).
During a session held under the chairmanship of Dr Yahya bin Mahfoudh al Mantheri, State Council Chairman, and attended by members and secretary-general of the council, it also received an appreciation letter from the Council of Ministers for recommending establishment of free zones in Al Buraimi and Musandam.
The council discussed the proposal for a draft law on the regulation of remote control aircraft (drones) following explanations from Sayyid Dr Said bin Sultan al Busaidy, head of working committee constituted to study the proposal.
Dr Al Mantheri said, owing to an increase in recent trading of drones, many countries had been compelled to pass legislations to regulate their use taking into account security/technical aspects and the requirements of public safety.
At the same time, drones are used in areas such as ambulance rescue, photography and commercial activities, making it necessary to enact legislations on their use in the Sultanate.
The working committee had submitted a proposal to the Council’s Bureau for conducting a study on regulating the use of drones.
The bureau considered forming a working group to study the proposal.
The team held four meetings and hosted the General Authority of Civil Aviation and some amateurs in addition to coordinating with the security agencies to seek their views on the matter.
Sayyid Dr Said bin Sultan al Busaidy said the team’s justification for
performing the task was there was no legislation regulating this type of aircraft and its use.
In addition, there is lack of specific areas for practising this hobby.
He said the ‘Chicago Convention’ stresses the need for legislation in the States governing use of these aircraft.
Further, he said the provisions of the Civil Aviation Law and Regulations are not effective in regulating these aircraft, which necessitates the creation of an ‘independent law’.
The proposal aims to provide a comprehensive legal framework for the import, trade, circulation and use of drones, and the development of controls to ensure their use in a manner that takes into account security, personal privacy and technical aspects.
Sayyid Dr Said bin Sultan al Busaidy expressed thanks to the State Council Chairman for his support, the
Council’s Bureau, members of the team and staff of the secretariat for their
efforts.
Dr Issa bin Said al Kiyumi, rapporteur of the working committee, highlighted the importance of promulgating a law regulating use of this type of aircraft and providing a safe environment for civilian passenger aircraft.
The different types of remote-controlled aircraft, their uses and risks of such use in the Sultanate was reviewed.
The session also approved a report of the joint committee of the State Council and the Majlis Ash’shura on the articles
that had experienced contradictions relating to the draft Commercial Companies Law.
The council reviewed a letter from the Council of Ministers, which praised the proposal of the State Council recommending the establishment of free zones in Al Buraimi and Musandam.