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Traffic Management Framework for Drones

Star marking (1-5) indicates the importance of topic for CSE
  • 27 Oct 2021
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has notified a traffic management policy framework for drones. This could be regarded as the first step towards allowing Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

Key Points

  • Traffic Management Framework: The rules envisages private, third-party service providers for ensuring safe operations.
    • Under the framework, Unmanned Traffic Management Service Providers (UTMSP) will extend automated, algorithm-driven software services instead of voice communication as in the traditional Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.
  • Scope of Regulation: All drones (except nano drones operating in the green zone) shall be required to share their real-time location through the network to the Centre.
    • Law enforcement and security agencies will also have access to some information in the UTM ecosystem on a need-to-know basis.
  • Responsibility of UTMSP: They will primarily be responsible for segregating and separating a drone from other drones and manned aircraft in the airspace below 1,000 feet in the country.
    • The UTMSP will be assisted by Supplementary Service Providers (SSPs), who will maintain data about terrain, weather, location of manned aircraft and provide services such as insurance, data analytics and drone fleet management.
  • Approval Authority: DigitalSky platform shall continue to be the interface for government stakeholders to provide approvals and permissions to drone operators.
    • DigitalSky platform provides end-to-end governance of drones related activities in India.
  • Financial Provisions: The policy also allows UTMSPs to levy a service fee on users, a small portion of which will also be shared with the Airports Authority of India.
  • Significance of the Rules: India has started taking steps towards enabling advanced use cases like delivery of goods using unmanned aircraft and is also looking at human transportation using unmanned aircraft.

Source: IE

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