DGCA okays drone trials for essential goods delivery

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed low-budget carrier SpiceJet to conduct drone trials for faster delivery of essential goods like medical, pharma, e-commerce supplies, among others in remote areas of the country. Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, “Testing of drone technology for last mile connectivity and cost-effective cargo deliveries are a big leap in the air transportation of essential and non-essential supplies in India.

We are extremely optimistic about using this exciting new mode of delivery for products like perishables and medicines which have a smaller shelflife and need urgent deliveries in the remotest parts of India.” SpiceJet’s freighter arm— SpiceXpress—had earlier submitted a proposal before DGCA to conduct experimental “Beyond Visual Line of Sight” (BVLOS) operations of drones. The decision of DGCA came after the recommendations of the BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring Committee.

As per reports, SpiceXpress-led consortium includes drone manufacturing company Throttle Aerospace, analytics and software solution firm AeoLogic and Involia—a provider of air traffic awareness and collision avoidance services. However, the dates of trials have not been made clear by the company. Earlier in 2018, the Ministry of Civil Aviation legalised drones in India with its categorisation, guidelines along with seamless registration process and also defined the “No Drone Zones” areas.

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