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What drone policy questions need to be asked about classification, airspace and security

The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) is currently framing guidelines  for the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones in India. While ecommerce players like Amazon have been pushing hard for the use of drones as a means of last mile delivery in the United States and recently the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also issued guidelines for the civilian use of drones. One of the contentious parts of the guidelines was that a line of sight must always be kept between the operator and the drone. My parents attended a wedding, in India, where the wedding videography was done using… Drones. pic.twitter.com/gArgbcfTF7 — Y. V. Reetesh (@Reetesh) April 6, 2015 R. Swaminathan, a senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and contributing editor of Governance Now, in a research paper (pdf) explores the policy and regulatory challenges for unmanned aerial vehicles in India. According to the paper, India has the second largest number of of acknowledged drones in the world after the United States of America in military use. However, framing guidelines for civilian usage is another ball game altogether. "Drones pose unique policy challenges that transcend conventional domains of national security, safety, consumer technology, aviation, privacy and business practices," Sawminathan writes in his paper. In the first part of this series we talk about classification of drones, airspace they operate in, and the safety questions which need to be addressed. MediaNama went through the policy paper and here's what we found interesting for framing a policy around drones and…

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