India notifies its traffic management policy for drones

NEW DELHI : India has notified a traffic management policy framework for the National Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or drones, which will allow private and public service providers to manage drone traffic in the country.

The framework of the traffic management policy for drones takes into account scenarios involving the piloting of several drones in the vicinity of manned aircraft, in particular at the lower levels of the airspace where drones are allowed to fly.

“With the rapid technological advancement of unmanned aircraft, the opening of new use cases and political reforms, the number of unmanned aircraft operating in Indian airspace is poised to increase rapidly,” said the National Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM). political framework.

A copy of the policy framework was reviewed by Mint.

The safety of manned and unmanned aircraft in Indian airspace is a critical requirement and must be made possible through a combination of standards, procedures, technology and real-time data exchange, according to policy.

“Current air traffic management (ATM) systems were not designed to handle unmanned aircraft traffic. The integration of unmanned aircraft into Indian airspace using conventional means may require unmanned aircraft to be fitted with cumbersome and expensive equipment, which is neither feasible nor advisable ”, he added. he declared.

“This requires the creation of a separate, modern, primarily software-based and automated UAS traffic management (UTM) system. Such systems can then be integrated into traditional ATM systems,” he added.

The policy framework further defines the architecture and mechanism of UTM airspace, which includes the management of unmanned aircraft traffic in very low level airspace (VLL) up to 1000 feet above the airspace. ground.

“This airspace (up to 1000 feet above ground level) will be defined as UTM airspace,” he said.

“In addition, this framework establishes the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, which are part of the UTM ecosystem in India,” he added.

According to the policy, UTM systems will help achieve goals such as identifying stakeholders to communicate transparently with each other, helping to separate unmanned aircraft from other manned and unmanned aircraft, and providing a knowledge of the VLL airspace situation to the relevant stakeholders.

The main stakeholders in this regard include the central government, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Civil Aviation Safety Board (BCAS), airspace management agencies, the Air Traffic Control Authority (ATC), Air Defense Authority, UAS traffic management service providers. (UTMSP), Supplementary Service Providers (SSPs), Remote Pilots, Law Enforcement and Safety Agencies, and the General Public.

“This policy framework will enable third-party service providers to deploy highly automated and algorithm-based software services to manage drone traffic across the country,” said Smit Shah, director of the Drone Federation of India.

“The vision to conduct a results-based, time-bound UTM experiment as a key next step in the policy framework will enable India to engage in a public-private partnership to develop safety and separation standards. for drones and allow drone operations to scale up. quickly into the country, ”Shah added.

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Margie D. Carlisle