Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dubai to trial pilotless taxis

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is looking into the concept of ‘Dubai Air Taxi – a driverless flying car'  or ‘Autonomous Unmanned Air System Taxi’.

In technical terms, the taxi would fly passengers from one place to another without needing any pilot.

Dubai Air Taxi would become part of Dubai’s Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy, bringing eco-friendly and faster modes of transportation to the UAE. As expressed in the UAE newspapers in June 2017, RTA is hoping to start the trial flying by the end of this year.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said: “With the help of the adaptable and dynamic regulations, innovative mechanisms and systems from the GCAA that it provides to support its stakeholders, the UAE will not only be the first country to allow operation of flying pilotless taxis, it also will be a hub where such taxis are ‘the safest”.

In order to help RTA achieve this vision, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) took initiative and formed a team of specialists that are being led by Ismaeil Mohammed Al Blooshi, assistant director general aviation safety affairs and the director of airworthiness Aqeel Al Zarouni.

Ismaeil Mohammed Al Blooshi, assistant director general aviation safety affairs, said: “At the GCAA, initial suite of regulations for experimental operations have been drafted and study of the most suitable support system is underway. The GCAA is reviewing the requirements, researching on the results of studies and tests, looking into availability of support systems like emergency equipment and infrastructure and the efficacy of the operators and exploring the impact of the new mobility system on the safety of air navigation.”

The GCAA is also in contact with overseas National Aviation Authorities in this regards. A comprehensive approach addressing all relevant factors is the only way forward. The GCAA will allow operation of air taxis only when it is sure that all elements required for their safe operation are in place, it said in a statement. - TradeArabia News Service

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