Maria Montero

Drones can be a force for good, but the …

Drones have been a controversial topic almost since their inception.

The conversations around drones tend to use them at the last big wedding or extend to military use In unmanned aerial warfare.

However, there are a host of extremely functional and useful ways in which drones can change the way we live for the better.

Regulation of drones must accept the fact that drones can be a force for good.

Drones have proven to be groundbreaking in the healthcare space – Vanuatu island residents have very few airfields, paved roads, or cooling available. Here, The availability of vaccines has been transformed by the delivery of drones.. Applications extend to the delivery of life-saving drugs, blood packages and organs for transplantation.

In India, another particularly useful example is in agriculture. Early assessment of crop health, best irrigation practices, and even soil and field analysis can only improve agricultural practices across the board. With a number of state governments already using drones To assess and quantify crops and farmland to try to predict water use and accelerate relief, it is clear that drone applications have a better chance to deliver than popular hysteria suggests.

However, all these virtues fall by the wayside when incidents like Gatwick or HAL airports occur. In both cases, unauthorized drones floating close to the runway led to security problems and disrupted operations. In Gatwick’s case, the airport closed for 36 hours and hundreds of flights were canceled, delaying and dropping off thousands of passengers shortly before the start of the holiday season.

Drones are not just spy weapons or tools.  They can deliver vaccinations and provide much-needed information in emergencies.

Drones are not just spy weapons or tools. They can deliver vaccinations and provide much-needed information in emergencies.

Examples like these are quickly used to justify banning drones for security reasons. Reasoning along these lines guided the regulatory regime around the drone industry in India, making it prohibitively difficult for the industry to grow or operate in the past two years.

But if we were to take a step back and assess: the problem in both of these incidents was not the drone itself, it was the unauthorized operation of drone flights and their use in restricted areas.

For some time now, the perception has been that drones and their abuse were inherently linked and creating a distinction between the two seemed impossible. Fortunately, this is what the new drone regime in India is trying to address.

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Until recently, the drone regulation in India made it prohibitively difficult to own and operate a drone.

The recently launched Digital Sky platform has created a technology platform to enable and regulate drone flights and controlled airspaces. The innovative NPNT (Permit No Takeoff) system is the key component of this platform. It requires the drone operator to apply for permission to fly their drones on an online platform. This permit would require details of the flight time, the specifications of the drones and the area in which you seek to fly. The system immediately generates the permission artifact if all the searched details are accepted.