Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Digital sky rules, multi-ministry approvals further delays drone regulations

India’s ambitious plans for a drones policy built on a so-called digital sky framework has hit a roadblock over clearances from the ministry of home affairs and various defence establishments. This will further delay regulations that are already behind schedule and may even end up amending some of the proposed rules.

“The CAR is not finalised yet. We are currently awaiting comments from the Ministry of Home Affairs, only after which we will be able to finalise and release the CAR,” a senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India’s aviation regulator, told FactorDaily. CAR is short for Civil Aviation Requirements that set rules for operating drones and other unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

According to the official, the DGCA and the ministry of home affairs met last week to discuss the draft.

While publishing the draft CAR for drones in November 2017, the civil aviation ministry had said it expected to finalise drone regulations in two months time. “Not having a regulation was amounting to total ban of any activity and that doesn’t make sense. A lot of people were enquiring about it and wondered why we delayed it,” Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the then minister for civil aviation had told reporters after release of the draft CAR.
04/04/18 Anand Murali/Factor Daily