Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Despite DGCA Guidelines on Drones, India Fails to Check Trespassing, Privacy: Report

New Delhi: Drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) is the latest trend catching onto the imagination of the public. It is estimated that Indians have spent more than Rs 40 crore on civilian drones in 2016-17 alone.

The government, though, seems to be struggling with major gaps in policy to regulate the use of the aircraft, which are, banned in the country.
According to a study by the think-tank, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), ad-hoc measures taken by state and central government have been ineffective as questions of privacy and trespassing, air traffic, terrorist threat management, and legal liability have not been addressed properly.

The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India's civil aviation regulator, first issued a notification on the subject on October 7, 2014. Two years later, on April 21, 2016, first drafts of the guidelines were issued for the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). After a year-and-a-half of inactivity, the DGCA issued a new set of guidelines in October 2017. A report on Moneycontrol.com says the final proposal may be finalised this month. It was to be done by December 31, 2017.
Despite the current blanket ban on drone use, the aircraft are being widely used. Wedding videographers, in particular, are being selected on the capability to use drones to capture the activities.

According to ORF's research, the 2017 guidelines of the DGCA, despite what the authorities believe, do not seem to be a step in the right direction. Privacy and trespassing, two of the biggest concerns for civilian use of the aircraft, have been more-or-less untouched in the proposal.
13/03/18 Aditya Nair/News18.com

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