Dubai Municipality's Waste Management Department expects to have three drones by the end of the year to monitor deserts, beaches and landfills. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Drones may be all the rage among tech hobbyists but civil aviation officials on Tuesday warned users to be mindful of how and where the miniature aircraft is flown for safety reasons.

Users, for example, should stay clear of airports and helipads frequented by working aicraft and drone operators should avoid flying the machines near buildings, houses or private property, officials said.

The examples are part of a long list of warnings issued to prevent mishaps through a new drones campaign launched on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi by General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) officials.

The two-week awareness campaign is targeting operators who have no previous experience with drones.

Drones laws in the UAE, such as those introduced in April 2015 in Dubai, prohibit the devices from being operated in restricted areas.

The campaign aims to also inform the public on means to obtain a licence for operating drones from the relevant authorities as the recreational use of these devices has become more popular, especially among youth.

“Given the varying range of sectors in society, and those who have no experience or adequate information about aviation and drones, the GCAA has made raising awareness on the best practices when using drones a priority,” said Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, director-general of the GCAA, in a statement.

The campaign included the launch of brochure and pamphlets in addition to showcasing new signs that ban these drones from certain areas such as airports and near street lights.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Saeed Al Khajah, deputy director of Security Media Department at the General Secretariat of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Interior, said that the ministry is working closely with the GCAA and other local authorities to ensure the safety of UAE residents.

The campaign reminds operators that steps may be taken for illegal operations of drones.

For individual use

1. All drone activities shall take place within the visual line of sight of the user not above 400 ft from ground level (approximately the height of Dubai World Trade Centre) without the use of visual aids, such as binoculars and within the aircraft’s operational range.

2. Fly only during daytime and in good weather conditions.

3. Do not fly the drone within five kilometres from any airports, helipads, landing areas or manned aircraft.

4. Do not fly near any buildings, houses, private properties or persons.

5. Fly for fun and not for commercial purposes.