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Preparing for take off – The DGCA is framing guidelines for drones in India

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is working on an interim operations guidelines for the civil use of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), the ministry of civil aviation said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. However, the ban on the use of drones t hat the DGCA had issued (pdf) in October 2014 is still in effect. "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 ministry said. The DGCA seems to have softened its stance on the use of drones as indicated by this Economic Times report following other countries such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand which have notified rules for the commercial operations of drones. In India, however the idea for drones has been successful in pilot projects such as in the Panna Tiger Reserve. The ministry of environment and forests plans to use drones at around 15-20 sites across five different so-called ‘tiger landscapes’ making up 47 tiger reserves, over the next couple of years. E-commerce giant Amazon has been planning to use drones for delivery of goods and in August 2014 had said that they were looking to launch in India. Amazon in December 2013 had showcased in the US its Prime Air drone, an octocopter (a drone fitted with eight rotors) which could carry payloads of up to 2.26 kg. It had also said that products within this weight range such as mobile phones and books…

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