In a first, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has certified drones developed by two Bengaluru startups, Skylark Drones and Throttle Aerospace Systems, reports the Economic Times. These drones complied with the NP-NT (no permission, no takeoff) protocol of the Digital Sky policy, which came into effect on December 1, 2018. Under the NP-NT protocol, operators need to request prior permission to fly their drones via a mobile app; drones that lack permission from the Digital Sky Platform will not be able to operate. The startups got the certifications for their drones under the visual line of sight (VLOS) category - in which the drones have to be within viewing distance of the operator. Four other firms that applied for certification have not received it so far. Regulations under the current Digital Sky policy The Union government had announced drone regulations in August 2018 ans said they would come into effect in December, when the Digital Sky Platform for registration of drones was launched. The rules created a registrations and licensing regime for flying drones and providing more legal certainty to drone operators. The key rules in Digital Sky concerning drones are: All drones (other than nano drones) are required to have a unique identification number (UIN). The fee for a fresh UIN is Rs 1000. All drone operators (except for nano and micro drones) are required to obtain an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP). The fee for a fresh UAOP is Rs 25,000 and is valid for 5 years. No permission, no take off (NPNT) – Before any flight,…
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