MoCA Grants Conditional Exemption to ICRISAT to Deploy Drones For Agricultural Research
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Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption to the International Crops Research Institute (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, Telangana for the deployment of drones for agricultural research activities.
Shri Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “Drones are poised to play a big role in agriculture sector in India especially in areas like precision agriculture, locust control and improvement in crop yield. The Government is encouraging young entrepreneurs and researchers to look at ruggedized low-cost drone solutions for the over 6.6 lakh villages in India.”
The conditional exemption is valid for 6 months from the date of issue of the letter or until the full operationalization of Digital Sky Platform (Phase-1), whichever is earlier. This exemption shall be valid only if all conditions and limitations as stated below are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, this exemption shall become null and void.
ICRISAT is expected to submit a comprehensive brief on the scope of operations and the copy of SOP to Flight Standards Directorate (FSD), DGCA. Operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) shall be carried out only after the vetting/approval of SOP.
ICRISAT shall also take necessary permission regarding Aerial Photography from Directorate of Regulations & Information, DGCA. The photographs/video-graphs, if taken through RPAS shall be used by ICRISAT only. The operation of RPAS shall be restricted to day operations (from sunrise to Sunset), within Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS).