DGCA issues notice against civil use of UAVs over Indian airspace

DGCA issues notice against civil use of UAVs over Indian airspace

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India, October 14, 2014: The Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation has posted a notice on its website regarding the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)/ Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for civil applications.

While the notice acknowledges the drone fancy that has caught on in the market, it cautions that in the absence of a clear policy and regulation on the usage of UAS, it is mandatory to acquire approval from the Air Navigation Services (AAIANS), defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, and other concerned security agencies, besides the DGCA.

“UAS has potential for large number of civil applications. However, its use besides being a safety issue, also poses security threat. Of late, lots of interest is being shown for civil use (both commercial and recreational) of UAS in the country. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is yet to publish Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), as far as certification and operation of civil use of UAS is concerned. The airspace over cities in India has high density of manned aircraft traffic. Due to lack of regulation, operating procedures/ standards and uncertainty of the technology, UAS poses threat for air collisions and accidents,” the notice stated.

“DGCA is in the process of formulating the regulations (and globally harmonise those) for certification and operation for the use of UAS in the Indian civil airspace. Till such regulations are issued, no non government agency, organisation, or an individual will launch a UAS in Indian civil airspace for any purpose whatsoever,” warns the notice issued to the public.

In June 2014, a report published on Scroll.in quoted Prabhat Kumar, the director general of the DGCA saying, "We don’t have any regulations for drones right now, but are in the process of preparing some rules…We are looking at regulations being developed in other countries for reference.” He also had underlined that DGCA does not even have any specific restriction on how high UAVs can be flown.

Source: DGCA