Centre allows Telangana govt to use drones for delivering COVID-19 vaccines
The permission has been granted by the Centre for a period of one year or until further orders and the exemptions will be valid only if Telangana abides by all conditions and limitations laid down for the respective entities.
April 30, 2021 / 05:25 PM IST
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) granted a conditional exemption for drone deployment to the Telangana government on April 30.
The Telangana government has been allowed to use drones only for conducting experimental delivery of COVID-19 vaccines within the Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) range.
The permission has been granted by the Centre for a period of one year or until further orders and the exemptions will be valid only if the state abides by all conditions and limitations laid down for the respective entities.
The Aviation Ministry has stated that these trials will help in determining conditions -- such as population, geography -- to identify regions that need drone deliveries.
Earlier this month, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was also granted permission to use drones for COVID-19 vaccine delivery as part of a feasibility study it is carrying out in collaboration with IIT Kanpur.
By granting these permissions, the Centre hopes to achieve the dual objectives of faster vaccine delivery and improved healthcare access by:
Ensuring primary healthcare delivery at citizen’s doorstep.
Limiting human exposure to COVID-19 congested or COVID-19 prone areas through aerial delivery.
Ensuring access to health care to the last mile, especially in remote areas.
Possible integration into the middle mile of medical logistics for long-range drones.
Improving medical supply chain, especially with a third vaccine expected to be commissioned and millions of doses to be transported across India.