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DGCA launches 'GARUD' portal to fast-track exemptions of coronavirus-related drone operations

BusinessToday.In     May 5, 2020

The Civil Aviation Ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday launched GARUD portal for fast-track approval to COVID-19-related drone operations. The objective of the GARUD (Government Authorisation for Relief Using Drones) portal is to assist state-owned entities in seeking exemption from central government for coronavirus related drone operations.

This will also help in addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19 and will remain in force until further orders.

In a tweet, Civil Aviation Ministry said, any violation of provisions will make the conditional exemption null and void and will lead to penal action.

"Getting necessary approvals from the competent authority & launching the portal in less than two weeks is a testimony of the hard work & dedication of officials at MoCA, DGCA, AAI and NIC," the ministry added.

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Recently, Garuda Aerospace, a drone start-up from Chennai, manufactured drone to spray disinfectants and sanitise public spaces to contain spread of COVID-19. Named as 'Corona-Killer', these drones can be used to spray disinfectants on buildings up to 450 feet. Drone operations are faster, longer and safer than manual spraying by workers who can become potential carriers of COVID-19. Also, drones can reach heights which are not possible through manual spraying.

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These drones have already been deployed for disinfecting areas in Chandigarh and Varanasi.

By Chitranjan Kumar

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