DGCA shocker to drone operators

DGCA shocker to drone operators


Hyderabad: A notification from the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) comes as a shocker to scores of civil drone operators making a killing in both the Telugu states ahead of the hectic marriage season.

Civil drones are much in demand in several cities across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh during the wedding season for drone shootings of marriages.

According to SN Sastri from Visakhapatnam, who performs weddings in different parts of Telugu states said that there are around 50 auspicious Muhartams from January 15 to the end of June, this year. The number of days for performing marriages are more in February, March and May.

"Mostly, I travel across towns and cities like Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Naraspuram, Bhimavaram, Eluru, and Vijayawada in AP.

Occasionally, I travel to Tirupati and Hyderabad. I see the trend of using drones. It is more predominant in places like Visakhapatnam.

But, as per the DGCA sources, the number of civil drones flying in the skies in violation of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) is more than the number registered.

It was against this backdrop that the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA have decided to provide a onetime voluntary disclosure scheme. This is to facilitate the identification of civil drones and drone operators.

A senior official, DGCA, Chennai, told The Hans India, "Those voluntarily coming to disclose their details need not bother about the conditions of NPNT, as enlisted in the CAR and they are not mandatory for purpose of registration under this scheme."

The reports reaching the DGCA field offices of air safety points that there is an indiscriminate usage of the non-compliant drones flying, sometimes in the vicinities of the airports. "A noncompliant civil drone appearing on the radars of an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) gives tense movements since it poses a problem to the safety of air traffic," the official said.

Reports reaching the field offices indicate that the number of registrations of civilian drones in Hyderabad showing compliance for the last one year is growing. But reports point out that civil drones identified flying over or in the vicinity of the sensitive assets like airports, shipyards, ONGC assets, in places like Visakhapatnam, Naraspuram and Kakinada were recorded.

It is not just commercial users, but also, students, colleges, universities, government departments and others seem using civilian drones. Keeping this in view, the onetime voluntary disclosure is floated. Every drone flying in the Indian airspace should have a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP).

Those who do not have them can now visit and complete the entire process online through the Digital Sky Portal (DSP) hoisted by the DGCA on or before January 31, 2020. On successful completion, they get a Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN) and an Ownership Acknowledgement Number (OAN).

This will help in the validation of operations of drones in India. However, apart from DAN and OAN, the CAR provisions should also be fulfilled, the DGA source said.

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