The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption from Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021, to 10 organisations. The Karnataka government has been granted approval for drone-based aerial survey to create urban property ownership records in Bengaluru.
National Health Mission, Mumbai, also received the Ministry of Civil Aviation's approval for conducting experimental BVLOS drone flights to deliver essential healthcare items in tribal areas of Jawhar in Palghar district of Maharashtra.
While Gangtok Smart City Development got the ministry's nod to conduct drone-based aerial survey for a smart city project, the Steel Authority of India, IISCO Steel Plant, Burnpur, West Bengal, will conduct perimeter surveillance of the plant via drones.
Asia Pacific Flight Training Academy, Hyderabad, will conduct remote pilot training using drones. Blue Ray Aviation, Gujarat, has received a licence to use drones to conduct remote pilot training. Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited, Chennai, will conduct drone-based aerial spraying to assess crop health and prevent crop disease.
Meanwhile, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mumbai, has also received approval for conducting drone-based agricultural trials and precision spraying on paddy and hot pepper crops in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, respectively.
Bayer Crop Science, Mumbai, and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, also received the nod to use drones. Bayer will conduct drone-based agricultural research activities and agricultural spraying using drones, while IITM will use drones for atmospheric research.
The ministry said these exemptions are valid for a year from the date of approval or until further orders, whichever is earlier, and will be subject to the terms and conditions of the SOP issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
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