9th Jan 2019

“The near miss today is the accident that doesn’t happen tomorrow”

In light of the recent incidents of drone sightings at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, the Drone Federation of India would like to highlight the need for responsible flying. While the overall benefits provided by this exciting technology are immense, one must keep in mind that this is a privilege and not a right. The Drone Federation of India appeals to all fellow drone operators to strictly adhere to the highest levels of safety standards and compliances as prescribed on CAR 1.0. It is imperative that we stand together as a community and exercise highest levels of caution while flying Unmanned Systems to ensure that breaches of this nature, (causing heavy financial and logistic disruptions), even if one off events, do not occur in this part of the world.

Extrapolating this to the Indian scenario, the drone regulation developed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation clearly distinguishes between the different zones, the level of permissions required for them and no fly zones. Irresponsible drone flying can hurt even legitimate flyers who see direct benefits in the technology.

From a regulatory standpoint, a fully functional NPNT and adherence to standards are a seamless way for every drone exponent to obtain real time permissions basis flight plans. Taking a leaf out of the FAA rule book, the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) programs provides near instant responses for permissions to controlled airspaces. Pilots can make requests to authorised LAANC partners and recieve near instant responses on the possibility of flying. Requests of this nature are instantly checked with numerous data sources for flight eligibility. Further, the incorporation of UTM systems once UIN signatures are adopted across the country would cushion the overall ecosystem in terms of flight security.

With applications of drones extending to drone taxis, for security purposes at large human gatherings, for fire fighting wildfires, as well as delivering vaccines to remote islands, it is important that we act with utmost caution to ensure greater community acceptance and adoption of this beautiful technology. The DFI once again appeals to one and all to stay safe in their flight missions and help build a secure ecosystem around Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

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