Seven consortia between logistics companies and drone operators have partnered with the Telangana Government for its "Medicine in the Sky" project, which aims to deliver COVID-19 vaccines and other essential healthcare items to remote places with the help of drones. The companies include logistics players like Mahindra Logistics, Blue Dart and Dunzo and drone operators like Sagar Defence and Marut Dronetech. Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation granted Telangana government exemption from the UAS Rules 2021 and granted permission for conducting beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations. Apart from the Ministry of Civil Aviation permission, the Telangana government has got approval from the Airports Authority of India (AA), but is awaiting final approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs which is currently conducting a review. Under Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) operations, the pilot of the drone has to maintain continuous, unaided visual contact with the unmanned aircraft, whereas under BVLOS drone operations pilots can operate a drone remotely, without the need to continuously be within visual range. According to the Expression of Interest document of the "Medicine from Sky" project published by the Telangana government last year, each consortium is allowed to have a maximum of four partners comprising of drone vendors, UTM service provider, healthcare subject matter expert and supply chain subject matter expert. It is important to note that a week ago, the Ministry of Civil Aviation exempted 20 entities from the UAS Rules 2021 and gave them permission to conduct beyond visual line…
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