Agri Business

Civil Aviation Ministry allows Icrisat to use drones for agri research activities

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on November 16, 2020 Published on November 16, 2020

Deployment of drones for agricultural research activities   -  REUTERS

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption to the International Crops Research Institute (Icrisat), Hyderabad for the deployment of drones for agricultural research activities.

Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said, “The Government is encouraging young entrepreneurs and researchers to look at ruggedised low-cost drone solutions for the over 6.6 lakh villages in India.”

The conditional exemption is valid for 6 months from the date of issue of the letter or until the full operationalisation of Digital Sky Platform (Phase-1), whichever is earlier.

This exemption shall be valid only if all conditions and limitations as stated below are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, this exemption shall become null and void. Icrisat shall obtain necessary clearances from (a) Local Administration (b) Ministry of Defence (c) Ministry of Home Affairs (d) Air Defence clearance from Indian Air Force and (e) Airport Authority of India (AAI) prior to operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

Icrisat shall only operate the RPAS which has been voluntarily disclosed to the Government and issued with a valid Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN).

Scope of operations

Icrisat shall submit a comprehensive brief on the scope of operations and the copy of SOP to Flight Standards Directorate (FSD), DGCA. Operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) shall be carried out only after the vetting/approval of SOP.

Icrisat shall take necessary permission regarding Aerial Photography from Directorate of Regulations & Information, DGCA. The photographs/video-graphs, if taken through RPAS shall be used by ICRISAT only. The operation of RPAS shall be restricted to day operations (from sunrise to Sunset), within Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS).

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Published on November 16, 2020
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