Interactive airspace map for flying drones to be available in 2 days: Jyotiraditya Scindia

An interactive airspace map will be uploaded on a digital platform in the next two days with red, yellow and green zones earmarked on it, indicating go and no-go areas for operating drones, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Thursday, a month after the Centre unveiled a new policy for unmanned aerial vehicles.
The airspace map has been prepared after consultation with state governments, he said. “In the coming two days, an interactive airspace map for the entire country will be uploaded having red, yellow and green areas for flying drones. In the red space, no drones will be allowed to fly, while in the yellow one, they will fly with permission (from authorities). In the green space, no permission will be required at all for flying drones,” Scindia told reporters here.

Scindia arrived in Gwalior, his home turf, on Wednesday for the first time after being inducted in the Union cabinet in July and was accorded a grand welcome by people.

“We have prepared this airspace map in consultation with all state governments. There will be a Digital Sky Platform on it, which means there will be no (role of) the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” the minister said. “Permission (for operating drones) will be granted by the Digital Sky Platform. Those seeking it will have to enter the entire flight path. Within five seconds, permission or lack of it will be known,” Scindia said.

Soon after getting permission, people can fly their drones, he said.

Citing an example from Telangana, Scindia said two days back coronavirus vaccines were transported by a drone to a remote area where nurses, doctors and beneficiaries were already present for inoculation.

“The moment it landed at the designated place, nurses recorded the number of vaccines received in the inventory and soon after jabs were administered to people,” he said.

The new drone policy will give a fresh impetus to India’s economy and generate employment opportunities for people, especially youths, the minister said.

He said a 10th class student can become a drone pilot by getting training in 15 days to two months and can easily earn a salary of Rs 30,000 per month. “This is the strength of the new drone policy,” Scindia said.

Later, Scindia along with officials inspected the land allotted for expansion of the Gwalior airport.

The land has been provided by the Central Potato Research Institute at the behest of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. The BJP leader recalled that it was the dream of his grandmother late Vijayaraje Scindia and his father late Madhavrao Scindia to provide international level flight services from Gwalior and said he will fulfil their dreams.

In a notification dated August 25, the Ministry of Civil Aviation eased the rules regarding drone operations in the country by reducing the number of forms that need to be filled to operate them from 25 to 5 and decreasing the types of fees charged from the operator from 72 to 4.

The fee, according to the new rules, has been reduced to nominal levels and de-linked from the size of the drone. The rules have also abolished the requirement of various approvals, including certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permit, authorisation of R&D organisation and student remote pilot licence. Other approvals such as unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number and certificate of manufacturing and airworthiness have also been abolished, according to Drone Rules, 2021.

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