The Civil Aviation Ministry and DGCA have granted a conditional exemption to National Capital Region Transport Corporation to use drones in carrying out GIS mapping for Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System, an official release said on Friday. The conditions include securing necessary clearances from the local administration, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Indian Air Force and Airport Authority of India, prior to operation of remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), the Civil Aviation Ministry said in the release.
The exemption will remain valid till December 31 or until the full operationalisation of the Digital Sky Platform, whichever is earlier, it said. The Corporation has the mandate to implement the RRTS project across the National Capital Region, ensuring a balanced and sustainable urban development through better connectivity and access.
The Civil Aviation Ministry and Directorate General of Civil Aviation have granted a conditional exemption to NCRTC for the deployment of RPAS for data acquisition for mapping and implementation of web-based geographical information system (GIS) platform for Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), the release said.
“This (conditional exemption) will help them in effective aerial surveillance and project planning. The granting of these approvals is in line with the civil aviation ministry objective of promoting the use of drones for mass benefit,” Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Civil Aviation Ministry, said. According to the release, the corporation will only operate the RPAS which have been voluntarily disclosed to the central government and issued with a valid Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN).
The other conditions include submission of a comprehensive brief on the scope of operations and the copy of SOP to Flight Standards Directorate (FSD), DGCA, the release said. Operations of the drones will be carried out only after the vetting/ approval of SOP, it added.
Also, the corporation should have an adequate level of insurance to cover any damage to a third party resulting from an accident/ incident occurred during the operation of RPAS and will have to ensure that hazardous material or variable payload are not carried on using the RPA under any circumstances, the release noted. National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) will ensure safety, security and privacy of public, property, operator, among others, and in case of any eventuality, the DGCA will not be held responsible, the ministry said.
It also said that the RPA will not be operated in the vicinity of the airport as per the provisions of the CAR. If operated near the airport, approval from AAI shall be taken in advance regarding time and area of operations of RPAS, as per the release.