Monday, November 16, 2020

India now has a dedicated Drones Directorate to focus exclusively on drones

India now has a dedicated Drones Directorate that will solely focus on managing the drones ecosystem in the country. The civil aviation regulator, DGCA, obtained the permission to set up the Directorate from the Finance Ministry, and the department — to begin with — will have eight officials from the DGCA, but will be expanded over time, Amber Dubey, joint secretary at the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday.

“This is a pleasant surprise since under the pandemic related austerity measures, formation of any new department undergoes extreme scrutiny. One more baby step towards making India the drone capital of the world,” Dubey wrote. At the moment it is unclear who the eight members of this department are, and we have reached out to the Civil Aviation Ministry for more details.

An industry source told MediaNama that the Directorate will have its own financial budget, which is presumably why the DGCA had to receive approval from the Finance Ministry. Another industry source said that the Directorate will help in creating more focus on the drones’ ecosystem, given that both DGCA, and the Civil Aviation Ministry have traditionally prioritised civil aviation operations over drones.

“Getting a single function to look at all the aspects of operations is going to reduce the need for running around to get a complete picture. We see this as a much needed focused measure where all the functions are equally motivated to do dedicated efforts on making India the drone capital of the world,” Ankit Meha, co-founder and CEO of drone maker ideaForge told MediaNama in a statement.

A dedicated draft legislation for drone use in the country was published in June, and the rules are currently in the draft stage, and the Directorate could look into finalising these rules.

There is another important thing that the Directorate could look into: the multiple delays to rolling out no permission, no takeoff (NPNT) support to the Digital Sky platform. India’s drone rules mandate that only NPNT-compliant drones be allowed to fly, however, given that the functionality is yet to be baked into the Digital Sky platform, this provision has rarely been fulfilled.

16/11/20 Soumyarendra Barik/Medianama

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment