In a fillip to the drone industry, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved 13 companies to use drones to make drone deliveries as logistics are stressed during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Some of the companies that have received this permission include food ordering apps such as Zomato and Swiggy.
A drone maker called Throttle Aerospace Systems and logistics firm Dunzo, too, received permission to conduct experiments.
ShopX, Spicexpress, Zipline, Redwing, and ClearSky Flight are also on the list of companies that have received approvals.
These 13 companies are currently going to be testing drones to clear a regulatory requirement of 100 hours of flight time by September 30. If they clear the regulations, the companies could be delivering your medicine, books, and your food by drones.
DGCA has been conducting experiments for next-generation civil aviation requirements and had invited applications for conducting BVLOS experiments of remotely piloted aircraft in May 2019.
Sources say that a food ordering company was testing its first drone delivery. These are short-range drones and can fly up to five kilometres away and carry a payload of 3 kg. Drones are currently used in flood operations and to identify individuals during a riot.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier provided exemptions to use drones for photography and non-commercial purposes. However, drones can only be flown with restrictions. They cannot be flown more than 400 feet vertically and cannot be flown in “No Fly Zones” such as near airports, international borders, state secretariats, strategic locations, and military installations.
According to a report by FICCI and EY, the Indian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market is expected to touch $885.7 million by 2021, with the global UAV market size approaching $21.47 billion. Furthermore, a report by PWC India further states that the drone space is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18 percent during 2017-23.
With the usage of drones expanding, many would expect a drop in the price of last-mile logistics, making deliveries it efficient and inexpensive. The success of drones depends on each company’s ability to get customers to feel secure that their packages will be delivered to them without breakage or a loss.
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