Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Govt eases norms to fly drones, exempts UIN, operator permit for some firms

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has granted exemptions to 13 consortia to operate drones on an experimental basis without the need for unique identification numbers and operator permits till September 30.

The move paves the way for these consortia, which includes ones floated by budget airline SpiceJet, Nandan Nilekani-backed ShopX, Google-backed Dunzo and drone maker Throttle Aerospace, to pilot the use of drones to transport goods once approved.

The pilots will be part of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) experimental drone operations, for which it had floated an expression of interest in May 2019.

Eleven out of the 13 consortia are awaiting final approvals from the DGCA, while ET had reported on March 19 that the consortia floated by Dunzo and Throttle Aerospace had received the authority's nod for the BVLOS experiments.

The approval process is on for the rest, people directly in the know of the matter told ET.

“It is considered necessary in the public interest to conduct the BVLOS experimental flights, even though the drones to be deployed for such flights may not meet the requirements of UIN and Operator Permit stipulated under Rule 15A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937,” according to the MoCA’s April 18 order, which ET has seen.
06/05/20 Alnoor Peermohamed/ET

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