India Bans All Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations

Posted by Betsy Lillian on October 14, 2014 No Comments
Categories : Policy & Regulations

Citing a lack of regulations and subsequent safety concerns, the government of India has outlawed all unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights in the country.

In a public notice filed Oct. 7 but with an insertion date of Oct. 9, the Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) explains that commercial and hobbyist UAS operations are becoming increasingly popular in the country but there are no rules to govern them. “[The] International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is yet to publish Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPs), as far as certification and operation of civil use of UAS is concerned.”

Because there are no SARPs and there exists an “uncertainty of the technology,” the notice says, UAS may represent a “threat for air collisions and accidents,” especially because of the abundance of manned aircraft in the airspace of the country’s cities.

The DGCA recognizes the aircraft’s “potential for a large number of civil applications,” but these operations “will require approval from the Air Navigation Service provider, defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, and other concerned security agencies, besides the DGCA.”

Recent reports claimed that Amazon was planning to take its delivery-by-drone concept overseas and test it out in India because the country did not yet have strict regulations in place for UAS.

However, the agency notes that it is currently “in the process of formulating the regulations (and globally harmonize those) for certification and operation for use of UAS in the Indian Civil Airspace.”

The DGCA concludes with the following statement:

“Till such regulations are issued, no non-government agency, organization, or an individual will launch a UAS in Indian Civil Airspace for any purpose whatsoever. The above is for strict compliance.”

The full notice can be found here.

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