NEW DELHI :
New Delhi: In a push to domestic drone manufacturing, India's civil aviation regulator DGCA has given nod the for companies to manufacture Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
In an interview to IANS, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Director General Arun Kumar said the regulator has given its approval to 5 companies for drone manufacturing based on the presentations made to it earlier.
Market watchers told IANS that firms such as Skylark Drones and ideaForge among others, have received the nod to start manufacturing operations.
"Domestic drone manufacturers have approached us with their products. These are tested by our engineering department," Kumar told IANS.
"We are concerned with the safety aspect of these products."
According to Kumar, the move is expected to reduce import dependence and give the necessary push to the nascent domestic industry.
"Most of these companies are start-ups. Till now there was a massive import of drones, especially from China," he said.
"Drones are highly effective in reaching remote areas in hilly terrain and have vast usage in other sectors like agriculture, where these can be used to spray pesticides."
Last year, minimum manufacturing standards and training requirements of drone pilots were set out in the the "Drone Regulations 1.0"
According to industry estimates, India's drone market is worth around $900 million.
As per estimates, apart from those approved, more than 10 other major manufacturers are ready with their products to be inspected by the DGCA.
Besides, defence and law enforcement agencies, these systems are also being used by state-run companies in sectors such as power, highways and railways.
Another major application of the UAS is in entertainment and production, where live events are being filmed using drones.
Recently, the DGCA gave its nod to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to live telecast feed from inside stadiums obtained via drones.
With the advent of drones, a great need for anti-drone technology is also being felt, given the recent terrorist attacks overseas orchestrated via UAS, while a few domestic companies are said to be ready to provide a solution for this future threat as well.