Friday, July 16, 2021

Ministry Of Civil Aviation's Drone Rules 'bold' Will Make India Global Leader: DFI Chief

Smit Shah, the director of the Drone Federation of India, said on Thursday that he welcomes the released Draft Drone Rules 2021 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). He finds the move “bold” and says introducing a liberal policy for drones meant that India wants to be a global leader in technology. He urged that India must extensively research counter-drone technology.

In an interview with ANI, Shah said, "After the blast in Jammu Air Base, everyone started talking about the need for stricter drone policy but any amount of strict or liberal drone policy does not really address the concerns from a ROC-drone. Even after the Jammu incident, if the government has taken this bold move of notifying a liberal policy then India has decided to be the leader in this technology." After the recent security threats regarding drones, he said, "We need to research in counter-drone technology. Detection, identification, and neutralisation mechanism is needed for the counter-drone technology."  Regarding the positives of the proposed rules, he said, "There are at least 100 drone manufacturers, at least 200 drone service providers and over 1 lakh drone pilots are in India. After the policy regarding the drone rules will come into being, it will generate 5-7 lakh job opportunities.”

On Thursday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) released 'The Drone Rules, 2021' for public consultation. In an official statement, they said, "Built on a premise of trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive monitoring, The Drone Rules, 2021 will replace the UAS Rules 2021 (released on 12 March 2021)." The last date for receipt of public comments is August 5, 2021. As per the draft of the Drone Rules, 2021, approvals for drones which has been proposed to be abolished include unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permit, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation, drone port authorisation etc. The maximum penalty under Drone Rules, 2021 has been reduced to Rs 1 lakh and this will not apply to penalties in respect of violation of other laws. Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries and a drone promotion council to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.

16/07/21 Aayush Anandan/Republic World

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