Friday, September 10, 2021

India relaxes drone rules: Do we have enough trained pilots?

The Central government is proactively pushing the use of drones, an effort expected to receive a boost from the new Drone Rules, 21021, that simplify procedures for operating the unmanned aerial vehicles. The rules potentially clear the way for the use of drones in a range of civilian functions -- from delivery of medicines and vaccines in remote areas to even ferrying people over short distances.

After the euphoria came the questions: Does India have enough trained people to take full advantage of the new Drone Rules? What needs to be done to ensure that India has enough personnel to operate the drones? How much does training cost? And are there enough institutes where one can train and be certified as a drone pilot?

Swapnik Jakkampuddi, co-founder of Skye Air Mobility, says at the moment his company is not fretting about finding skilled pilots and people who have the aptitude to be trained are finding slots. Skye Air describes itself as a drone delivery and allied services entity.

“The entry barriers to training people are not too high. These provide a good opportunity for a lot of youth to be re-skilled and be part of the industry,” Jakkampuddi said.

No official data exists on the number of trained and untrained drone pilots in India although rough estimates put this figure at 200,000 + recreational and commercial drone pilots.

The new Drone Rules 2021 are likely to create more jobs in the next few years, with wide-ranging segments getting opened up, said Ankit Kumar, managing partner, Alternative Global India, a consulting company. Drones can be used for aerial photography, for express shipping and delivery, in disaster management and search and rescue efforts, among others.

“Drone jobs today are limited to surveying and inspection, among others, but with new areas opening up with Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) coming up and deliveries coming into the picture, the role of remote pilots will transform drastically to even cater to multiple other needs,” Kumar said.

He added: “Other than jobs for remote pilots, there will also be jobs in the tech sector primarily on a UTM operator which is an unmanned traffic management system that is required and mandatory for operations.”

10/09/21 Ashwini Phadnis/Moneycontrol

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


Post a Comment