As a move to increase drone usage across industries, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has scrapped the country’s requirement for a drone pilot license. It means that anybody with a Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC) issued by a DGCA-approved drone school through the single window DigitalSky platform can operate drones in India. The Remote Pilot Certificate is exempted for individuals who wish to operate drones below 2kg for non-commercial purposes. The rule came into effect on February 11.
On Thursday, India announced its decision to ban the import of drones, giving the opportunity to local manufacturers to make drone devices in the country. The ban does not apply to importing drones for purposes like research and development, security or defence. The government will also permit importing drone components without approvals.
Countries Are Looking for Alternatives for China Products and Components
India is among the several countries looking for alternatives to China for the products and components. Besides the border tensions with China, the global trade issue between China and the US delays Shenzhen-based SZ DJI Technology Co., the world’s top drone maker, from fulfilling the requirements of various countries. There are also rising concerns among countries that the company may be exchanging sensitive data with Chinese intelligence agencies.
India Promoting Drones for Various Purposes
India has been focusing on amending drone rules since 2021. In August 2021, it liberalized drone rules. In September 2021, the civil aviation ministry issued a drone airspace map and PLI scheme. In October 2021, the government released a UTM policy framework. In January 2022, the government established a drone certification scheme and single window DigitalSky Platform.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $20 billion plan, India will offer 1.2 billion rupees ($16 million) of incentives for drone makers. This is to attract the world’s biggest brands to manufacture their products in India and export them to the world.
Drones are already popular for video and photography needs. Companies and healthcare services are also using drones to monitor and deliver products and services. The pandemic has helped drones become an effective contactless system for various purposes. Overall, the usage of drones is increasing across sectors.