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Tamil Nadu Government Soon to Develop Drone Hub

Tamil Nadu government has chosen two underutilized airstrips for the establishment of a drone hub.

Shivani Meena
Employment of Drones in Agriculture
Employment of Drones in Agriculture

With the growing use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), often known as drones, for a variety of purposes, the Tamil Nadu government has chosen two underutilized airstrips for the establishment of a drone hub. It is attempting to attract national and international companies to locate their operations there. 

Last month, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin dedicated the Tamil Nadu Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Corporation (TNUAV), which was established with a ten-crore investment. This would allow the government to provide a wide range of services, particularly in agriculture (aerial spraying). 

Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor (TANDICO) 

The Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor (TANDICO), a division of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), plans to transform an unused airfield in Ulundurpet or Cholavaram into a potential drone hub. According to B. Krishnamoorthy, Project Director of TANDICO, the state has approached the Ministry of Defence for approval. The idea has the support of stakeholders, including the Indian Air Force, he added. 

TANDICO is in the midst of establishing a drone testing facility to lower entrance barriers for drone companies. This would either be under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Plan or another scheme to allow drone manufacturers to test their products, which would be a further accelerator for drone manufacturing in the State. 

The centre will include shared facilities that will allow drone companies to collaborate while still competing. "Because many of these are small businesses, we will provide the space to develop where we would lease out space when they want to expand their operations," said Wing Commander P. Madhusoodhanan, TANDICO's domain expert consultant. 

According to him, after the announcement of the Drone Policy by the Centre last year, the Red Zones — areas where drones are not permitted to fly — in Tamil Nadu have shrunk dramatically. Drone companies are classified as aerospace and defence companies since they provide numerous incentives. 

TANDICO has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with companies such as ARC Ventures, Vinata Aeromobility, and Vinveli Group to develop drones and anti-drones. Another firm, Big Bang Boom Solutions, is nearing the end of a joint venture with TANDICO. 

Drone Use will Minimize Health Hazard 

Drone use would minimise hazards to human life and health, particularly in counterinsurgency operations and high-altitude locations for the military, while also lowering total expenses. 

"A drone can cover around 20 acres of agricultural area in a day for spraying fertiliser or pesticides." "Efficiency can be regulated, farmers' lives and health can be preserved since going out and spraying pesticides will always result in some health issues for them," he added. Furthermore, particular regions for spraying can be recognised, resulting in better crops that are more organic.  

Drones will aid in tax computation 

Drones might see a surge similar to the information technology boom. This will also lead to several employment opportunities, including image processing jobs, IT jobs, mechanical engineering jobs, and so on." 

One advantage would be tax implications for the government. "Using drones, the government can map out every location, which may aid in [property] tax computation." 

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