Twenty jetpacks have been purchased by Dubai’s Directorate of Civil Defence for its fleet of emergency response vehicles.
Like a helicopter, jetpacks can take off and land vertically, but they are small enough to operate in confined spaces between buildings or near trees.
Flown by a pilot or remote control, jetpacks allow for rapid deployment of specialist teams and can undertake civil defence roles such as surveillance, initial intervention, heavy lifting of up to 120kg and rescue from high rise buildings.
The government department has signed a memorandum of understanding with manufacturer Martin Aircraft for the delivery of manned and unmanned jetpacks, simulators, spare parts, support services and pilot and engineer training for civil defence and fire service personnel.
“The vision of Dubai Civil Defence is protecting lives, properties and the environment and to provide fast, professional service, efficient investment of human and material sources to give best results,” said lieutenant colonel Ali Almutawa, director of the operations department at Dubai Civil Defence.
“Dubai is one of the fastest growing future cities in the world with its modern skyscrapers and vast infrastructure,” he added. “It has always been a world leader in adapting new technology to improve and save people’s lives,” he said.
Martin Aircraft’s CEO, Peter Coker, said that the jetpack’s ability to carry commercial payloads of up to 120kg gave organisations including Dubai Civil Defence a “significant operational advantage”.
“The UAE has such strong and visionary leadership that has recognised the importance and utility of our technology and we look forward to the day when His Highness Sheikh Hamdan [Dubai’s deputy ruler], who we know is also a keen aviator, flies one of our jetpacks and experiences the practicality of what the future holds for us all.”