All TN villages may have drone units within three yrs

If materialised, will help the villages in agricultural works like spraying of pesticides, and in disaster management, land survey, mining, monitoring of works, and revenue mapping among others.

Published: 16th May 2022 04:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2022 04:57 AM   |  A+A-


Image for representation. (Express illustrations)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  If everything goes as per the Tamil Nadu Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Corporation’s (TNUAVC) plan, each village panchayat in Tamil Nadu will have a drone unit within the next three years.
The ambitious plan to set up the units, if materialised, will help the villages in agricultural works like spraying of pesticides, and in disaster management, land survey, mining, monitoring of works, and revenue mapping among others, said officials.

The TNUAVC, which is operating inside the Anna University campus, was launched in January this year. Within four months, it has trained over 200 drone pilots and aims to train 600 more to fly drones of different weights by this December.

K Senthil Kumar, director and CEO of TNUAVC, said, “To ensure that 15,000 villages in TN are able to utilise drones for agricultural and other purposes, we need to have adequate manpower. A multi-pronged approach has been chalked out to create an ecosystem for the usage of drones from grassroots levels.

TNUAVC is also empanelling with companies that are into drone manufacturing, so that the trained pilots have easy access to drones at subsidised rates. The Central government is aggressively focussing on the drone industry and the usage of drones in the agriculture sector, and has brought out many schemes. TNUAVC will act as a one-stop centre to provide all kinds of information and services related to drones.”
 The corporation is also working on creating awareness among farmers about the benefits of using drones in farming, Senthil Kumar said.

Of the 200 trained drone pilots, many are expected to set up their own drone units, which could then be used by the farmers by paying a nominal fee, the CEO pointed out. He further highlighted that to create adequate manpower for the maintenance and repair of drones, related courses will be soon introduced in polytechnic colleges in the State. Meanwhile, the corporation is also in talks with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to get permission to set up drone operator training centres in other parts of the State.

As per the DGCA norms, licenses/certificates are mandatory to fly remotely-piloted aircraft systems in the country. The DGCA had earlier issued a license to Anna University’s Centre for Aerospace Research to conduct remote pilot training in accordance with Rule 34 of the Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021.
“There has been a boom in the drone sector, and we have all the expertise to encash the opportunity.

Drones have been utilised to solve many problems related to agriculture, mapping, and were even used for sanitisation across the State during the pandemic. TNUAVC’s objective is to popularise drone usage in each village,” said Mylswamy Annadurai, former ISRO scientist and vice-president of TN State Council for Science and Technology.


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