Monday, September 27, 2021

Telangana Govt Granted BVLOS drone flights for delivery of vaccines

by Staff Correspondent

As India continues to battle the second wave of Covid-19, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption to the Government of Telangana for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights for delivery of vaccines.

The provisional clearance intends to achieve several objectives, faster vaccine deliveries, improved healthcare access by ensuring doorstep delivery and limited human exposure to Covid prone areas, establish better access of healthcare services to last mile and remote areas.

The exemption for beyond visual line of sight is followed by the similar kind of exemption granted for Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) Range using drones for vaccines, last month by the Telangana Government.

“The exemptions have been done to accelerate the drone deployment process to formulate application-based models. The trials may commence by the end of May 2021,” as notified by the MoCA.

According to the government, conditions needs to be adhered by the Government of Telangana for conducting experimental BVLOS drone flights for delivery of vaccines are be the following – Security clearance of the entities must be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, maximum permitted height for drone operations is 400 feet Above Ground Level, before commencement of the trials clearance from IAF and local administration shall be obtained and drone pilots shall hold a valid certificate of training and have sufficient experience in drone operations.

The Government of Telangana will have to post a Single Point Coordinator (SPC) at Shamshabad ATC for the entire duration of the trial flights to ensure smooth coordination with ATC, states the notification issued by the MoCA.

The notification further added that the drone operations shall be limited between local sunrise and local sunset. 

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