Indian government ambitious drone policy to automate drone service in the country is in the last stage and soon may come up with a final version.
Ministry of Civil Aviation has been readying its drones policy since last year. The blueprint of digital sky program, which will be the foundation of drone regulation, was presented before drone operators and firms, reports FactorDaily.
As per the blueprint, the drones are classified into five categories based on their maximum take-off weight: nano (up to 250 gm), micro (251 gm to two kg), mini (2 kg to 25 kg), small (25 kg to 150 kg) and large (greater than 150 kg).
Leaving aside nano category and ones used by government security agencies, all other commercial categories of drones will be registered by DGCA which will issue it a Unique Identification Number (UIN).
Earlier in November last year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had come up with draft regulations on the civil use of drones which promised to enable commercial use of drones for tasks like photography, doorstep delivery, and even passenger transport.
The digital sky concept was not mentioned in the policy draft, it was pitched by India’s minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha. On December 15, Sinha said that regulations will be ready within 4-8 weeks.
Meanwhile, many drone startups including Quidich Innovation Labs, Aarav Unmanned Systems, Asteria Aerospace and Indrones had suggested changes to the government’s proposed draft regulations.
Among the top three concerns were raising the bar on weight to at least 4 kgs, height restriction to at least 400 feet and making the process of seeking permission for flying drones for certain projects much faster.
Entrackr‘s queries to the civil aviation minister did not elicit any response.
While drone may benefit in emergency situations such as organ transportation, blood donation and providing food packets, it is feared to kill a lot of jobs.
According to an independent estimate around 50,000 deliveries are made by e-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart, Dominos in Delhi every day. In India, e-commerce delivery companies pay about Rs 15 to the delivery boys for every delivery.
US and China have already been experimenting with delivery through drones. Chinese retail giant, JD is working on drone delivery system, which can carry as much as 2000 pounds of weight, parallel to the capacity of a chopper.