NEW DELHI: Admitting that drones can pose a security risk, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the government will bring in more provisions to regulate their operation, especially in no-go areas.
"Yes, we have already introduced Civil Aviation Regulation in 2018 and we will, in the coming months as we progress this and devise the ecosystem, be issuing more and more regulations to regulate the operation of drones," he told the House when asked if the government was bringing in a new law to regulate the use of drones.
He said the government is acutely conscious of the kind of security threats that drones can pose as they come in all shapes and sizes ranging from 250 grams to 250 kilograms.
"Therefore, we need to devise an ecosystem in the overall system which is well regulated; and some of the steps that we are contemplating and which is work-in-progress is that we are trying to ensure that certain parts of the country are no-go areas or red zones," he said.
The minister said drones need to be equipped with technology which has to be manufactured here so that if they do not have the permission, they should not be able to take off.
"If on an electronic platform the drone has diverted from the prescribed route, then it must have an RTH or Return to Home. So we are taking a large number of steps and I want to assure the Hon.member that this is in good hands," he said.
"The government has taken measures to take care of safety concerns by provisions to mandate equipment requirements which include No-Permission No-Takeoff (NPNT)."
"Further, No Drone Zones which are in high-security areas have been geo-fenced. An NPNT compliant drone has compatible software with the Digital Sky Application for applying and receiving permission before each actual operation. Without this permission, the drone will not be able to fly," he said in a written reply.
Puri noted that if an NPNT compliant drone tries to breach geo-fencing (to go beyond the permissible boundary in the airspace), the in-built software will compel the drone to return-to-home (RTH).
These provisions have been made in the Civil Aviation Requirements Section 3-Air Transport Series X Part I Issue I, dated August 27, 2018, published by the DGCA, the minister said.