From next year onwards there won’t be just birds in your skies. You might even get to witness small aircrafts flying over your head everyday delivering clothes, gadgets etc. at your doorstep. What’s even better is the fact that we might finally get to beat the United States at something.
The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which is the aviation regulator in India, has initiated the process of drafting guidelines for the civil use of drones. The guidelines are expected to be completed in a period of next few months and ecommerce companies in India might be able to make use of these drones for delivery by the start of next year.
For those who don’t know, drones are small aircraft systems that are remotely controlled and unmanned. Earlier we reported that Flkipkart is in talks with DGCA to use flying drones For delivering packages to its customers in rural areas.
“The DGCA has restricted the use of drones in India at present, but at the same time it has initiated the process of framing the guidelines for operations,” said a civil aviation ministry official in a statement to a leading newspaper.
The restriction is not only in India but the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has also till date not issued any standards or recommendations for the use of drones for civil purposes. In 2014, the DGCA had issued a public notice restricting the use of drones for civil purposes in India.
Whenever the guidelines are finalised and passed, India will become one of the first countries to allow use of drones for civil purposes. The DGCA official are currently considering all the safety concerns involved with the use of technology.
However, the use of drones is still allowed in filmmaking, where drones are used to take shots from a height of 200 to 400 feet.
Last year, US ecommerce giant Amazon was expected to start doing delivery trials using drones during the busy festive season of 2014 but the plan was dropped last minute as the regulations didn’t permit such operations.
Last year, the use of drones came into centre-stage when a Mumbai based restaurant delivered a half a kilogram pizza in Lower Parel by making use of drones.
What took the entire country by surprise was the fact that the total time taken by the drone to deliver and comeback to the restaurant was less than 30 minutes, which is what a delivery boy typically takes.
A country which is currently ahead of India in use of drones is China. The country has already started the trials in February and is currently delivering packets of up to 340 grams.
US ecommerce giant Amazon had showcased its drones and drone delivery process among much fanfare, long back in 2013. But, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) hasn’t yet given a go-ahead for widespread delivery using drones. The ecommerce giant’s repeated efforts to convince FAA haven’t been able to generate any concrete results so far.
[Top Image – Flickr – Info Security Solution]