Thursday, February 09, 2017

Sky’s the limit, but rules ground drone freaks

Kochi: Superbikes, augmented reality games and hoverboards just went out of fad. The new rage: Drones! As teens turn to the sky to pump up the adrenaline, Customs officers in the state are in a fog as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) without valid papers are ‘flying’ into the country in droves.
Flyers returning from a jaunt abroad carry home drones along with their goods and chattels. As drones fall under the ‘restricted category’, Customs officials are forced to confiscate them, pending production of requisite documents for clearance.
According to Customs officers at the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery, as many as 26 remotely piloted aircraft have been confiscated, including toy drones, in January. On an average, around 30 drones are seized each month, the officers said.
They have advised flyers to abstain from bringing in or sending by post or courier drones without the stipulated clearance.
According to a notification issued by Anup Wadhawan, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), import of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely piloted aircrafts (RPAs) into the country without clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and an import licence from DGFT is restricted.
09/02/17 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express
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