Friday, July 03, 2020

India's draft drone rules: Drone industry body recommends deregulating drone components, and easing restrictions on nano drones

Components used for manufacturing drones should not be regulated under the proposed drone rules as it can be “detrimental to the progress of the drone industry”, industry body Drone Federation of India said in its comments to the draft drone rules. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had released draft drone rules last month and has invited comments to it until July 3. The rules are an effort to form dedicated regulation around drone usage, as they are currently regulated as part of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), enacted in December 2018, under the Aircraft Act.

The body’s rationale behind this recommendation is that components used in drone manufacturing aren’t exclusive to that industry, and should be treated as such. “It is important to understand that a lot of the components used in UAS [drones] are classified as multi-use components (eg. motors, Electronic Speed Controllers(ESCs), Microcontrollers, cameras, sensors, batteries, etc). All such components can be used in more than 1000 simple or complex use cases (eg. Electronics / embedded systems / robotics / industrial automation, motor vehicles, etc) across multiple industries,” DFI said. “Critical components which may pose security and other challenges like Radio Equipment are already restricted and licensed by the Department of Telecommunication,” it added.
The body also proposed to change the definition of drone manufacturers, importers, and traders, based on their recommendation to not bring drone components under the ambit of the rules. The body also called for significant relaxations to nano category drones (weighing less than 250 gram). DFI said that it received comments from over 100 contributing companies, and its representation is a summary of those. It also recommended that once the Ministry is done making amendments to the draft rules, there should be another round of consultation because these rules will “define the course of the Indian drone industry”.
03/07/20 Soumyarendra Barik/Medianama
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