Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The state of civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in India

The state of the Indian drone industry is a complicated one, given the harsh restrictions imposed upon UAS in the country. In October of 2014, the Director General of Civil Aviation in India issued a public notice (http://dgca.nic.in/public_notice/PN_UAS.pdf) that regulated Indian UAS use for the first time. The notice is clear: ‘Til such (future) regulations are issued, no individual no non-government agency, organization, or an individual will launch a UAS in Indian Civil Airspace for any purpose whatsoever.’

Despite the fairly obvious warning to any potential UAS user who’s not government-affiliated, there are no laws against the sale of drones in India-and the market for them is growing rapidly. Civil drones alone are estimated to have made over a billion Rupees in sales (roughly equivalent to fifteen million US Dollars), and the UAS market’s worth in India is expected to rise to $421 million by 2021.

The military market makes up the bulk of India’s drone expenditure, however. India imports more military drones than any other country, making up 22.5% of global UAS imports. A recent defence deal with Israel for the purchase of ten Heron drones shows that the interest in UAS from the Indian government is still very much alive.
15/08/17 Adam Mortimer/SUAS news

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