Directorate formed by Govt to handle drone ecosystem in India

Drone Ecosystem in India: After a very long debate and discussions between various firms and Govt, there has been a significant addition to India’s Drone policy.

The Directorate General of civil aviation has given a nod from the finance ministry to set up a dedicated drone directorate.

The Directorate’s sole focus will be on managing India’s drones ecosystem.

This recent development came into the public domain by a LinkedIn post of Amber Dubey, Joint secretary at the civil aviation Ministry which states, “the Directorate had been established with eight DGCA officials in the first phase and will be expanded with time.

Drone Ecosystem in India This was quite a pleasant surprise as, under the Covid-18 austerity measures, the formation of any new government department is being discouraged, unless really important.”

As of now, it’s unclear who the eight members are. Though the great thing is, the directorate will have its own financial budget.

The various aspects under the directorate’s command would be to look into delays to rollout no permission, no takeoff(NPNT) support, manage drone training schools, and approve third-party drone certification in the country.

In accordance, the ministry of civil aviation has published the draft Unmanned aircraft System Rules, 2020.

The draft includes below-listed points – Drone Ecosystem in India

  1. Multiple drone training schools will be approved by the DGCA to train and certify drone operators. It very recently had its first batch of certified drone pilots.
  2. The DGCA has given a green light to third-party drone certification schemes to fast track the drone certification.
  3. IRDAI formed a working committee to form the set of documents for the drone insurance in India

The draft exclusively prohibited the carriage of a payload and the dropping of articles by unmanned aerial vehicles. This came out after various companies like Amazon, Swiggy proposed the idea of parceling their items through Drones. 

Later in September, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, secretary of the government, had announced that the government plans to map the entire country. The cost of this project might incur is estimated to be around Rs. 1000 crores.

According to global market intelligence, the Indian UAV market will reach $885mn by 2021.

Now on the basis of the rules set by the ministry, drones might soon get approval to go beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) but they have to stay within the 100mtr of the remote.

This gave hard time to the companies planning for the drone deliveries of their products. The rules also bring drone traders under the umbrella of the aviation ministry.

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