Ministry of Civil Aviation seeks views on draft national policy for flying drones

The policy is designed to cover flight planning capabilities and authorisation, as well as offer real-time situational awareness, weather and terrain data, and also help manage Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) traffic.

Ministry of Civil Aviation seeks views on draft national policy for flying drones
Ministry of Civil Aviation seeks views on draft national policy for flying drones

Ministry of Civil Aviation seeks views on draft national policy for flying drones

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has published the National Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) policy paper, inviting public views from stakeholders. The aim is to carve out a definitive national policy on flying drones, alongside scheduled and non-scheduled manned aircrafts.

The policy is designed to cover flight planning capabilities and authorisation, as well as offer real-time situational awareness, weather and terrain data, and also help manage Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) traffic.

With the use of drones gaining momentum rapidly, this draft document is especially significant in light of several instances of drones interfering with aircrafts taking off or landing at busy airports, disrupting their operations, globally.

Last year in January, Heathrow airport in London had to suspend operations for an hour because of a drone sighting, to prevent threats to operational safety, reported BBC. The month prior to that, thousands of people were left stranded at Gatwick Airport, due to a similar drone sighting.

In India, drones are already being used by several organisations for a wide range of services, including logistics, survey, and more. In fact, the Delhi Police famously used drones to ensure the implementation of lockdown rules during the Coronavirus pandemic, this year.

As such, the proposed policy would not only help uphold the necessary levels of aviation safety but also integrate drones into the current Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.