Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Indian government is finally taking drones seriously

After years of prohibiting the public from flying drones, India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Oct. 30, unveiled draft norms (pdf) for the usage of aerial vehicles.
“Drones have a lot of capability. Hence, it was generating a lot of interest. Not having any regulations amounted to a complete ban,” civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said at a press conference. “So, we decided to go ahead and develop a regulatory framework.”
Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), are used in several parts of the world to monitor crop production and infrastructure, assess damage following natural calamities, and carry out surveys, commercial photography, aerial mapping, and package delivery.
Until now, owing to safety concerns, it has been illegal to fly drones in India without a nod from the authorities. The new rules aim to tap the myriad opportunities in the commercial and recreational space, while ensuring the safety of other vehicles in the airspace and people on the ground.
The government has designed the rules according to the size of the drone being flown.
02/11/17 Ananya Bhattacharya/Quartz