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DGCA set to allow more drone schools


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is drafting new guidelines to promote the legal adoption of drone operations and increase the number of organisations imparting training to drone pilots in India.

The proposed guideline for Remote Pilot Training Organization majorly broadens the eligibility criteria for organisations including government agencies, universities and drone manufacturers, to train drone pilots.

“We have shared the draft for the guidelines with the stakeholders and in a month’s time will release the circular,” said Anil Gill, deputy director, Flying Training at DGCA to Entrackr. Organisations training drone pilots will also have to get a no-objection certificate from the DGCA, added Gill.

The new guideline is aimed at promoting pilots training and the wider legal adoption of drones in India. As per an estimate, there are over 50,000 illegal drones operating in the country.

The development comes after the Ministry of Civil Aviation had issued an order in January to all drone owners to voluntarily register their drones before January 31.

Currently, Flight Training Organisation provides certification and training for drone pilots in the country. There are 34 certified agencies which conduct the pilot training programs.

However, the DGCA official did not share details about the exact number of agencies that will be imparting pilots training in the country. Our queries to DGCA seeking more details remain unanswered.

Earlier, the government had legalised flying of drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System in December 2018.

Under the new drone policy, the government defined five different categories — Nano: less than or equal to 250 grams, Micro: from 250 grams to 2 kg, Small: from 2kg to 25 kg, medium: From 25 kg to 150 kg and Large: greater than 150 kg.

The DGCA had also selected seven firms, out of 34 applicants, which applied for long-range, or beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone experiments.

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