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Govt drawing up policy to counter rogue drones, says DG Rakesh Asthana

Asthana said that there is a need to bring in technology to counter rogue drones.

August 01, 2019 / 09:19 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

A committee was working on measures to counter rogue drone attacks and was expected to submit its report to the civil aviation ministry soon, aviation security chief Rakesh Asthana has said.

There was a need to bring in technology to counter rogue drones, the director general of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security said at a FICCI event on Countering Rogue Drones on August 1. “We have no answer as to how to distinguish the good drones from the rogue ones," he said.

Asthana cited the December 18 Gatwick airport incident in the UK after a suspected drone disrupted operations for 33 hours , leading to cancellation of close to 1,000 flights.

Four years after it imposed a blanket ban on drones, India came out with a regulatory policy on December 1, 2018.

Barring Nano drones, which weigh less than 250 gms, the rest have to be registered and issued a unique identification number. The owner is also required to obtain a permit to fly these unmanned aerial vehicles.

Manufacturing of drones in the country had led to chaos, Department of Defence Production Joint Secretary Sanjay Jaju said. All kinds of drone were being imported and it was reckless, he said.

Around 40,000-50,000 drones are imported due to softer border regulations, an industry expert said.

Drone sightings, said Jaju, were akin to kite flying. It was difficult to determine whether a drone would be used for civil or military purposes, which made it difficult to formulate regulations.

Jaju did acknowledge the need to build capabilities for domestic manufacturing of drones, which have found used in sectors as versatile as farming and food delivery. The emphasis would be on liberalising manufacturing, while maintaining control over operation of drones, he said.

The ministry is expected to release drone regulations 2.0 late in 2019.It has roped in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, National Security Guard, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Airport Authorities of India,Central Industrial Security Force and others to come up with measures to counter rogue drones.
Pramiti Lonkar
first published: Aug 1, 2019 04:24 pm