Dubai's flying taxis will be 'very safe', General Civil Aviation Authority says
Nervous flyers, fear not…
When Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority announced that it would begin trials of the Autonomous Air Taxi by the end of the year, some were incredulous – a driverless flying taxi?! How will that work?
Well, now the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has set out to quell any concerns about the ambitious project. In a statement, the authority said the taxis would not be taking to the skies until it was 100 per cent certain they were safe.
“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’,” said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, GCAA director-general.
The GCAA pointed out that a lot of work had gone into achieving the high level of safety in modern airliners, with robust regulatory systems, developments in technology over the years, and “some lessons learned the hard way as well”.
However, Dubai’s air taxis were different, as the concept has no precedent, and does not exist anywhere else in the world.
The GCAA said it has formed a team of specialists to oversee the project alongside the RTA, and was also working with civil aviation authorities overseas.
The team was currently looking into the availability of support systems like emergency equipment and infrastructure, as well as exploring the impact of the new transport system on the safety of air navigation.
“The GCAA is committed to completing everything as soon as possible, but like anything worthwhile, there are no shortcuts to safety,” the statement said.
“The GCAA will allow operation of air taxis only when it is sure that all elements required for their safe operation are in place.”