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Drone Delivery in India Soon; Government Gives Nod for Zomato, Swiggy, Dunzo

Garsha Sai Nitesh
Garsha Sai Nitesh

The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given nod to food startups like Zomato, Swiggy, and Dunzo to start testing the idea beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) for the drone deliveries.

According to a report, a total of 13 companies have received approvals from the aviation to test fly drones. Spice Jet, Reliance-backed drone startup Asteria Aerospace, Zomato, Swiggy, and Dunzo are among the list.

In 2016, the central government came up with a new draft policy, under which it proposed the idea of setting up dedicated drone corridors, drone ports and allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) in this sector aimed to create drone manufacturing hubs in the country.

Three years later in 2019, the DGCA had asked for submissions from organizations who are interested to submit Expression of Interest (EOI) for experiments beyond Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations (BVLOS).

Zomato conducted test delivery using drones in June 2019, the drone in the test covered a distance of 5 kilometres in about 10minutes. The highest speed was 80kmph and the drone carried a weight of 5kgs. “Food delivery by drones is no longer just a pipe dream. It’s almost here," the Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal said back then.

After the announcement of nod given to conducted drone delivery, Zomato spokesperson said, “We have been working on powering delivery via drones for sometimes now and welcome this move from DGCA to test our systems.”

This approval came at the time when the world is talking about the contactless deliveries in the wake of COVID-19. “Drone delivery” has been the talk of the town for quite some time in food and other product delivery companies.

Google and Amazon also invested in drone-based startups around the world and started getting permission from governments. Google is the first company to receive permission for drone delivery in Australia.

Companies will conduct six months trial and then submit the report to DGCA, which will then take a final decision on the approval of the use of drones.

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