India should adopt globally accepted drone standards: Industry survey

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India should adopt globally accepted drone standards: Industry survey
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MUMBAI: To boost innovation, India should adopt globally accepted drone technologies and standards, said majority of respondents- over seventy per cent, that is- of a survey carried out recently by an aviation technology forum. The survey was carried out […]


MUMBAI: To boost innovation, India should adopt globally accepted drone technologies and standards, said majority of respondents- over seventy per cent, that is- of a survey carried out recently by an aviation technology forum. The survey was carried out to understand the stakeholders' view on the recently notified Draft Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules 2020 and find out about the potential impact these norms would have.
The current complex policy environment and difficult flight approval procedures are the main hurdles for commercial drone operators as well as emergency service agencies, said the survey findings. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) should consider introducing Remote ID (RID) system for identification and tracking of drones as an alternative to No Permission-No Take-Off (NPNT), according to 64% respondents of the survey carried out by Aviation Technology Forum of India (ATFI), an industry forum representing both industry and non-industry players operating in the aviation sector.
"68% of the respondents are in favor of permanent exemption of government agencies providing critical emergency services such as disaster relief, emergency response and aerial security services from NPNT and Digital Sky Restrictions," said the survey, which according to the ATFI press release had a sample size of 100 entities. The survey was conducted across relevant stakeholders in the ecosystem comprising of drone OEM’s, drone users, operators, drone service providers, academia, and research institutions, said the ATFI release .
Titled ‘Evaluating Users’ Perspective on Drone Policy Ecosystem’, the survey uncovered certain operational challenges that has plagued the industry, stemming from existing lag between regulations and implementation process, ATFI said. ``A total of 57% of the respondents were of the view that there should be no flight restrictions on the nano class drones under the Draft UAS Rules, 2020. Over 75% of the respondents stated that India should move towards a tried and tested system similar to the automated notification-based authorization system called ‘Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC), given that compliance to NPNT has proven a challenge across different industries," it said. Majority of the respondents have termed the application processes for various permits and licenses ‘difficult’, especially with respect to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and import clearances, the survey adding that more than half of the respondents that participated in the survey have stated that their drones are not NPNT compliant.

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Dr. Lalit Gupta, chief advisor of ATFI said: “The findings of the survey clearly point towards two key observations and ATFI supports inclusion of these key provisions. Considering the representative view of the industry players, we would urge the government to consider introduction of Remote Identification as an alternative technology to NPNT, to ensure compliance and thereby improve safety and security in the airspace. Furthermore, to ensure seamless and timely operations, it is imperative to permanently exempt government agencies providing critical emergency services from NPNT and Digital Sky restrictions.”