Centre to release new drone policy; Jayant Sinha says aviation will be among the 'largest industries' in India

The civil aviation ministry came out with draft rules for unmanned aircraft systems last year, and aviation minister Jayant Sinha said certain issues related to security and global standards were discussed in detail

PTI May 22, 2018 14:02:33 IST
Centre to release new drone policy; Jayant Sinha says aviation will be among the 'largest industries' in India

Mumbai: The civil aviation ministry is in final stages of formulating the drone policy and it is expected to be released shortly, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said on 16 May.

The ministry came out with draft rules for unmanned aircraft systems last year, seeking comments from the public.

The Minister of State for Civil aviation said that certain issues related to security and global standards were discussed in detail with the concerned stakeholders.

"We have finalised our work on the drone policy... Some tricky issues need to be resolved from security and global standards point of view. We are now at the end of that consultation process. So we hope to have the final drone policy coming out shortly," he said, while speaking in a session at the Global Exhibition on Services.

Centre to release new drone policy Jayant Sinha says aviation will be among the largest industries in India

Union Minister Jayant Sinha. Image courtesy CNN-IBN

At present, the aircraft rules do not cover the use of drones as well as their sale and purchase. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had in October 2014 restricted the use of drones and unmanned aircraft system by civilians.

According to the draft rules prepared by the DGCA, drones would require unique identification numbers while nano drones, those weighing below 250 grams, would be exempt from seeking one-time approval, including the unique number requirement.

Drones have been classified into five categories, with those weighing up to 250 gram described as 'nano'. Those weighing more than 250 gram and up to 2 kilogram would be classified as 'micro' while 'mini' would be those having weight of over 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.

'Small' drones would be those weighing up to 150 kg and the ones above that threshold would be classified as 'large'.

Talking about the prospects of the aviation sector, Sinha said it holds huge potential to push the country's economic growth. He further said aviation was going to be one of the largest industries in India and airlines had placed orders for over 900 planes.

He said that it is an "absolutely achievable" target and the government is working on several areas including building airport capacity, strengthen regulatory institutions and enhancing skills required in the sector.

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