By Yashi Jain
India will see a lot of drones flying around from 2018, as the Aviation ministry is all set to legalize it by the end of this year. Realising that the potential drones have in boosting the economy of the country, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday released draft norms for the usage of aerial vehicles. The draft will be seeking public consultation for 30 days after which it will be legalized.
Contents of the draft
Owing to safety concerns over the usage of drones, obtaining permission was a mandatory prerequisite earlier. However, terming it as the need of the hour, the Aviation Ministry realized a regulatory framework was needed. “Drones have a lot of capability. Hence, it was generating a lot of interest. Not having any regulations amounted to a complete ban. So, we decided to go ahead and develop a regulatory framework,” Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said at a press conference. Five kinds of drones have been identified, all of which must be registered with the DGCA and must have a unique number. This does not cover Nano drones which are under 250gms and cannot fly above 50 feet. Apart from Nano drones which once registered can be flown around freely, all others would require a different approval each time.
The government has also listed places that will be out of bounds for all drones; this includes international buildings, airports, national parks, etc. Drones will not be allowed around a 5-kilometre radius of the Parliament. Only persons above the age of 18 years and who have gone through a training period are permitted to fly drones. Air defence clearance is also required to be taken each time, in order to ensure that the security and aviation authority is aware of the routes. “Regulation of drones is a very difficult prospect in a country like India. We have extensively pondered over the security aspect and consulted global examples,” Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation has said. A similar circular was put out in April 2016; however, the recent ones are more accommodating as compared to the others.
Boost to economy
With India being promoted by 30 spaces in the World Bank’s list of Ease of Doing Business, this move will propel India’s growth even further. Introducing drones in order to improve ease of doing business is the primary agenda behind commercializing the use of drones. During the press conference, Mr Gajapati Raju noted that the drone industry could help India’s developing sector including agriculture, oil, and gas. Jayant Sinha expressed his desire to make India the world’s leader in the use of drones. Amazon has already filed a patent application in the country for exclusive rights on multi-scale fiducials, in order to start using drones for delivery once it has been legalized. Although, some argue that using drones for food delivery or apparel delivery will kill a lot of jobs and not be a wise step in a country like India. However, it will surely be very useful in the medical industry for blood delivery and other deliverables. The use of drones will also benefit the real estate companies, photography industry, oil and gas companies for inspection and insurance companies. According to Mr Sinha, “The idea is to allow the unfettered and unrestricted use of these drones so that we can develop new and unique applications.” The new regulations will definitely give a boost to the drone industry as well as other industries, in turn, giving flight to the Indian economy.
Featured Image Source: Pexels
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