Monday, August 03, 2020

BCAS issues security guidelines for drone operating systems

New Delhi: Aviation security regulator BCAS has issued guidelines for drone operating systems, which act like cockpits on the ground to remotely pilot the unmanned aerial vehicle.

The BCAS has listed out rules that should be followed for cyber security, storage facility, training and background check of staff for drone operating systems or remotely piloted aircraft systems.

A remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), its associated remote pilot station, its required command and control links and any other components constitute a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS).

"Ensure that CCTV cameras are installed inside RPAS and the storage facility. The capacity to retain recording of minimum 30 days shall be in place for all categories of RPAs except for mini and micro," said the guidelines of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

An RPA or drone is in nano or mini category if it has weight less than 250 grams. If its weight is between 250 grams and 2 kg, it is in the micro category.

"Ensure access control of RPAS and RPA storage area. As RPAS is similar in purpose and design to a cockpit, it is understood that it must likewise be secured from sabotaged or unlawful malicious interference," the guidelines, accessed by PTI, said.

According to BCAS, the remote pilot station in the RPAS is of "fixed and exposed" nature as opposed to the "restricted nature" of a commercial plane where the intrusion and use of heavier weapons is less likely.

Therefore, further consideration must be given to the "potential vulnerability" of the premises of the remote pilot stations against unlawful interference, it added. "The aircraft (drones) itself shall be stored and prepared for flight in a manner that will prevent and detect tampering and ensure the integrity of vital components," it noted.

Safety and security of data and communication links and services are equally important as those for the drones and their remote pilot stations, as per the guidelines said.

"Accordingly, it shall be ensured that they (links and services) are free from hacking, spoofing and other forms/interference or malicious hijack," the guidelines said.

02/08/20 PTI/Times of India
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