Thursday, September 13, 2018

New drone policy has wedding videographers in a fix

The Civil Aviation Ministry finally gave the nod to the commercial use of drones and have released a set of guidelines, which will be effective from December 1.
This ensures that more people will be able to use drones, provided they adhere to the conditions such as registering the devices, getting an operator’s licence and ensuring the drones are not flown over certain zones. In Kerala, drones are extensively used for wedding photography and videography and the new policy has put the users in a predicament.
The primary reason being that most of the drones or helicams that are currently being used are imported from other countries, says Kochi-based videographer Ranjith Raghu. “The existing law states that helicams used in India should be manufactured in the country. But a lot of people smuggle these devices because of the better image quality as well as battery life,” he says.

The new guidelines will require each device to be registered with a unique identification number and the plan also proposes a ‘no permission-no flight’ policy. Another wedding photographer from Kochi, on condition of anonymity, tells us, “When the new law comes into place and if strictly enforced, we will have to buy new devices as we won’t be able to fly the ones we already have. The helicams cost us from Rs 1.2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, and there won’t be takers for these items in the market either as it was purchased before drones manufactured in China were made legal to use in India.”
13/09/18 Sanjith Sidhardhan/Times of India