(AP file)
(AP file)

Strategy to counter rogue drones in the offing, says govt official

  • The measures to counter rogue drones would include neutralising them by entrapping or blocking their communication system
  • The task force, which is examining various technologies, has members from agencies such as the DRDO, the AAI and the CISF

New Delhi: The government is set to formulate a strategy to deal with possible security threats emanating from the use of un-manned aerial vehicles, or drones, which have emerged as useful tools for several industries but have potential to harm when in wrong hands.

A civil aviation ministry task force is working on finding out the best available counter drone solutions and standards to safeguard aviation assets against possible drone attacks in India, Rakesh Asthaana, Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) said at a conference on ‘Rogue Drones’ organized by industry chamber Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

"Drones can be used for the betterment of society or for killing people and destroying assets. Both the government and civilians are using drones for commercial purposes, but this is an area we don't know which drone is good and which is rogue," Asthana said.

The measures to counter rogue drones would include neutralising them by entrapping or blocking their communication system. This has to be done without impairing the communication systems of other assets such as airports in the vicinity. The task force which is examining various technologies has members from agencies like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Airports Authority of India and the Central Industrial Security Force.

A statement from FICCI, quoting Sanjay Jaju, joint secretary in the defence production department, said local manufacturing of drones as well as indigenous counter-drone technologies should be encouraged.

Drones have caught the imagination of businesses as well as policing and security agencies as they offer low-cost, safe and quick aerial surveys for surveillance and data collection. This has application in rescue operations as well as in several industries such as power, mining, real estate, oil and gas exploration, railways and highways. With huge data, businesses can simulate and analyse varied situations.

Drones can also inspect tall structures and offshore rigs.

At present, commercial use of drones is allowed only against a licence which is not applicable for drones below specified weight and size for flying in low altitudes. The use of drones is not permitted near strategic locations like secretariats and airports.

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