Drone Mapping Of Agricultural Areas In 100 Districts Gets Exemption

Drones - aviatorsbuzz

Drones will now be deployed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) for remote sensing data collection in agricultural areas of 100 districts of the country, for gram panchayat level yield estimation, under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

Drone Use For One Year

Conditional exemption for using drones granted shall be valid from the one year from the date of issue of the permission letter or until the operationalisation of the Digital Sky Platform, whichever is earlier.

However, this exemption shall be valid only if all conditions and limitations are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, this exemption shall become null and void and action may be initiated as per Para 18 of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR).

Last week a similar conditional exemption for drone usage has been granted by the central government to Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) for Integrated Urban Regeneration and Water Transport System Project (IURWTS).

The metro company can use Remotely Piloted Aircraft System conditional exemption that is valid till the end of this year (December 31) 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 are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, this exemption shall become null and void,” the civil aviation ministry said.

drone - aviatorsbuzz
Representational picture of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System or drone. Source: Twitter

The ministry said that KMRL is required to obtain necessary clearances from local administration, ministry of defence, ministry of home affairs, air defence clearance for Indian Air Force and Air Authority of India (AAI) prior to operation of the drones.

In addition to this, permission is also required for aerial photography from Directorate of Regulations & Information. DGCA or Ministry of Defence. The photographs shall also be used by KMRL only.

“KMRL shall ensure that only trained I experienced bona fide personnel operates the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) as per the approved SOP. Subsequently, the RPAS operator shall ensure that remote flight crew is trained through approved FTOs/ RPTOs,” the ministry said.

“The drone operator is also required to ensure that the RPAS is in working condition and maintained as mentioned in the approved SOP and shall be responsible for any eventual ties due to malfunction I disorientation of equipment,” it added.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Members of Parliament for the Ministry of Civil Aviation was held in New Delhi on Thursday. Mr. Hardeep S Puri, MoS, I/C, Civil Aviation chaired the meeting.

MPs Ram Nath Thakur, Neeraj Dangi, Praful Patel, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Shwait Malik, Subramanian Swamy, Vishambhar Prasad Nishad and Vinayak Bhaurao Raut participated in the meeting.

Replying to the queries of the MPs, Mr. Puri explained to the MPs the various steps taken by the Ministry during COVID-19 pandemic for the benefit of people as well as airlines and aviation sector. He informed about the fare bands introduced with floor price and ceiling price.

The Minister mentioned that domestic air traffic is increasing day by day and has now reached to about 3 lakh passengers per day. He further said that in the summer schedule, as domestic traffic would increase more, the fare bands and some other restrictions are likely to be done away with.

Mr. Puri informed about the RCS-UDAN scheme giving details of the bidding process and the routes. He added that 4 rounds of biddings have been done and more than 700 routes have been sanctioned whereas over 300 routes have been operationalised under the scheme.

The Minister further said that Darbhanga airport as one of the very successful examples under the scheme. Mr. Puri further provided information about airports and flights in states of Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh etc based on queries by the MPs.

The MPs made suggestions about airport privatisation, opening up of new airports, expansion of airports, Flying Training Organisations etc.



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