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Union Aviation Minister Awards First Type Certificate under Drone Rules, 2021 to Gurugram-based IoTechWorld

The drone certification scheme is expected to create an eco-system for world-class drones to be manufactured in India and sold globally. There are currently 14 drone prototypes undergoing certification testing. Over the next three years, the number of Type Certified prototypes may exceed 100.

Shivam Dwivedi
Union Aviation Minister Awards First Type Certificate to IoTechWorld
Union Aviation Minister Awards First Type Certificate to IoTechWorld

Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, awarded IoTechWorld Avigation Pvt Ltd the first Type Certificate (TC) under the Drone Rules, 2021. The Gurugram-based firm, which was founded in April 2017, is one of India's leading manufacturers of kisan drones.

IoTech received the Type Certificate on 11 May 2022, just 34 days after submitting its online application on the DGCA's DigitalSky Platform. This is despite the fact that the Drone Rules, 2021 allow the Quality Council of India (QCI) or the Certification Bodies (CB) 60 days and the DGCA 15 days to issue the Type Certificate (for a total of 75 days), provided all necessary documents and test reports are as specified.

On 25 August 2021, the Drone Rules, 2021 were notified, and on 26 January 2022, the 'Certification Scheme for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (CSUAS)' for obtaining a Type Certificate (TC) for drones was notified.

TQ Cert, UL India, and Bureau Veritas are three globally recognized Certification Bodies (CB) that have been approved by QCI. Drone manufacturers may approach any Certification Body to have their drone prototype tested.

The Quality Council of India developed the drone certification scheme for January 2022 in consultation with drone startups, industry, academia, and defense experts. The government served as a bridge-builder and problem solver.

The drone certification scheme is expected to create an ecosystem for world-class drones to be manufactured in India and sold globally. There are currently 14 drone prototypes undergoing certification testing. Over the next three years, the number of Type Certified prototypes may exceed 100.

Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, speaking on the occasion, congratulated IoTechWorld Avigation Pvt Ltd on receiving the first Type Certificate (TC) under the Drone Rules, 2021. He stated that the Ministry of Civil Aviation is pursuing the Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of "Minimum Government, Maximum Governance." India has set a goal of becoming a drone hub by 2030, and the issuance of the type certificate in a record time of 34 days is a step in that direction. The other drone prototypes shall also be awarded certification soon, he added.

Other Drone Reforms

The Central Government has carried out a series of reform measures, as follows:

  • Liberalized Drone Rules, 2021 has been notified on 25th August 2021

  • Drone Airspace Map has been published on 24th September 2021, opening up nearly 90% of Indian airspace as a green zone for drones flying up to 400 feet

  • The production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones has been notified on 30th September 2021

  • UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Policy Framework has been published on 24th October 2021

  • A monetary grant program for the purchase of agricultural drones was announced by the Union Agriculture Ministry on 22nd January 2022.

  • All five application forms under Drone Rules, 2021 have been made online on the DigitalSky Platform on 26th January 2022

  • The drone certification scheme has been notified on 26th January 2022, making it easier to obtain type certificate by drone manufacturers.

  • Mission ‘Drone Shakti’ has been announced for supporting drone startups and promoting Drone-as-a-Service (DrAAS) as part of the Union Budget on 1st February 2022.

  • Drone import policy has been notified on 9th February 2022, banning import of foreign drones and freeing up import of drone components

  • Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022 has been notified on 11th February 2022, abolishing the requirement of a drone pilot license.

  • Applications from manufacturers for PLI scheme for drones and drone components were invited during 10-31 March 2022.  The first provisional list of beneficiaries was released on 20th April 2022.

Global Drone Hub by 2030

Drones provide enormous benefits to almost every sector of the economy. To name a few, these are agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geospatial mapping, defence, and law enforcement.

Drones have the potential to be significant job creators and economic growth generators due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, particularly in India's remote and inaccessible areas.

Given its traditional strengths in innovation, information technology, and cost-effective engineering, as well as supportive policies, monetary incentives, and a large domestic demand base, India has the potential to become a global drone hub by 2030.

(Source: PIB)

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