Wednesday, August 19, 2020

India’s Digital Sky Drones Platform Goes Live For Startups, Drone-Makers

On August 15, when India celebrated its 74th Independence Day, the country’s drone policy silently took a giant leap. Now, over 70% of India’s landmass of 3.28 Mn sq Km is open for drones to operate. Under the Digital Sky plan, companies can now get single-window clearance for drones which comply with India’s ‘no permission, no take-off’ (NPNT) protocol to operate in areas demarcated as green and yellow zones.
However, drone flights over urban areas, near defence and strategic installations, airports and border areas, which are categorised as red zones, will need clearances from relevant security agencies before take-off, as per an ET report.

The move also comes ahead of the Phase 1 launch of the Digital Sky drone platform, planned for October 2. As envisioned in the Drone Regulations 1.0, the Digital Sky programme will bring airspace management, post-flight data submission and other features to the government’s drone flight management.
The opening up of green and yellow zones comes as India’s drone industry, which can now manufacture or purchase NPNT drones. So far, the industry has been holding out from making the switch, given the lack of permissions through the platform.

Currently, just about 40 drone startups are active in India. Over 90% of them are startups that do not have the luxury of burning cash on trials and experimental runs in this regulatory uncertainty.  Moreover, the lack of governmental support is a crucial growth hurdle for drone startups as this has limited funding for the sector.

This is more evident in the “Drone Technology: India Opportunity Report 2019”, by DataLabs by Inc42. According to the report, the total funding raised by drone startups in India from 2014 to 2018 was just $16.56 Mn which accounts for a mere 2.26% of the total deeptech funding ($732 Mn) in this period.
18/08/20 Inc42
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment