Nokia and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop of an end-to-end UAS ecosystem.
This is aimed at making the UAE the first country in the world to allow the operation of drones by both businesses and government agencies in a safe, secure and managed environment. The project is part of an initiative by the GCAA to make Dubai one of the world's smartest cities by 2017, and will allow Dubai government security network operator Nedaa to develop a next generation network for mission-critical and smart city services within the GCAA regulatory framework.
At the heart of this new ecosystem will be Nokia's UAV Traffic Management (UTM) concept, which is being developed to manage drones in and around cities, and coordinate their interactions with people, manned aircraft and an increasingly diverse array of connected objects.
The GCAA has launched this initiative so businesses and local government can take advantage of drones, making the city smarter while minimising any hazards that UAVs may present.
This agreement complements a recent initiative by Nokia to establish and develop a UAV test facility at Twente Airport in the Netherlands.
Bernard Najm, head of the Middle East market unit at Nokia, said: "The UAE is committed to making Dubai the smartest city in the world, and UAVs are expected to play a critical role in this process by supporting a wide variety of smart city services. This collaboration with the GCAA, the first of its kind in the world, gives us a unique and extensive test bed where we can trial and refine our UAV Traffic Management system, and shape the future of UAV management overall. This is an exciting opportunity that builds on our strong relationship with the UAE to help facilitate its smart city journey."
Ismaeil Mohammed Al Blooshi, assistant director general of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, said: "We, as a civil aviation regulator, are pleased to partner with Nokia for such an innovative initiative for the UAE aviation sector and to build a safe and secure drone ecosystem. Being the number 1 aviation industry in the world with regard to safety standards, the UAE has superb aviation infrastructure and is qualified to play a key role in innovative aviation projects such as this drone collaboration."