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Government permits 20 entities to conduct beyond-line-of-sight drone operations

The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday permitted to 20 entities to conduct Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) experimental flights of drones for a period of one year. These entities have been granted conditional exemption from the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021, the government said in a release. The government hopes that these trials will help create a framework for future applications using drones such as drone deliveries.

On April 30, MediaNama reported that the Central government permitted educational institutions and other government bodies to take up “beyond the visual line of sight” (BVLOS) operations, provided that they meet the criteria of the Directorate General Of Civil Aviation. The decision was taken after the Ministry of Civil Aviation received a myriad of proposals with regard to the use of drones to deliver COVID19 vaccines.

What is Beyond Visual Line of Sight?

As opposed to “visual line of sight” (VLOS)  operations which underlines that the pilot of the drone has to maintain continuous, unaided visual contact with the unmanned aircraft, BVLOS drone operations allow for piloting a drone remotely, without having to be manoeuvred by looking at it. The government formed the BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring (BEAM) committee to select these entities and set requirements for their operations.

BEAM selected the following 20 consortiums from the 34 applications it received:

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1. Aerospace Industry Development Association of Tamil Nadu (AIDAT)

2. ANRA Consortium A

3. ANRA Consortium B

4. Asteria Aerospace Pvt. Ltd.

5. AutoMicroUAS Aerotech Pvt. Ltd.

6. Centillion Networks Pvt. Ltd.

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7. ClearSky Flight Consortium

8. Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Pvt. Ltd.

9. Dunzo Air Consortium

10. Marut Dronetech Pvt. Ltd.

11. Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd.

12. Saubika Consortium

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13. Skylark Drones & Swiggy

14. ShopX Omnipresent Consortium

15. Spicejet Ltd.

16. Terradrone Consortium B

17. The Consortium

18. Throttle Aerospace Systems Pvt. Ltd.

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19. Value Thought IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

20. Virginia Tech India

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