Monday, September 28, 2020

DGCA off-loads civilian drone certification to third parties

Chandigarh: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) tied up with the Quality Council of India (QCI) to develop and operate a certification scheme for remotely piloted aircraft systems or drones as they are known in common parlance, in line with the requirements issued by the civilian regulator.

All manufacturers who desire to obtain certification for their drones will now have to approach the QCI. Manufacturers whose various models have been provisionally accepted by the DGCA will also have to get permanent certification from QCI.

Earlier, the DGCA had issued the Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs) to ensure airworthiness and seamless operations for privately owned remotely piloted aircraft systems for civilian purposes. Consequently, drones to be used, whether manufactured in India or imported, are required to be certified to ensure they meet the stipulated technical and safety parameters.

There are a number of firms in India that manufacture drones of various sizes and capability. The number of start-ups getting into this business segment has also witnessed an increase recently. Drones, along with robotics and electric vehicle equipment, are among the focus areas identified by the government to reduce imports and ramp up domestic production for becoming self-reliant.  

Certification is different from registration of drones, which has now been made mandatory and for which there is a different process. While certification deals with the technical specifications of the machine and is the responsibility of the manufacturer, registration, like that of a vehicle, concerns post-sale ownership and identification and is the responsibility of the operator.

28/09/20 Vijay Mohan/Tribune

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