India’s first drone census has seen over 2,500 Ownership Acknowledgment Numbers (OANs) being issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in the last five days.
The exercise will give the government a picture of who owns what kind of drone in which part of the country and will help in making policy decisions that should ideally become the base for understanding the scale of operations.
The Ministry issued a notice providing a one-time opportunity for voluntary disclosure of all drones and operators starting from January 14.
While the DGCA issued the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Section 3 - Air Transport Series X, Part I, Issue I, dated August 27, 2018 which regulates use of drones and provides the process for obtaining Unique Identification Number, Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) and other operational requirements, there are drones that do not comply with the CAR.
Along with registrations, officials said a larger number of queries and suggestions had landed at the drone cell. “While no proof of purchase is being sought, all registrations after February 1 will have to be accompanied by an invoice.”
January 31 deadline
As the census led to confusion and myths making the rounds, the Drone Federation of India — a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led body working in the unmanned aviation space — issued a fresh set of FAQs on Sunday. An official said there was a myth that enlisting of a drone would lead to its confiscation.
“In reality, if a drone is not enlisted by 5 p.m. on January 31, then it will most definitely be confiscated. Plus there would be other consequences as per law,” the official said.
After January 31, only authorised retailers will be allowed to sell them after uploading buyers’ Know your Customer (KYC) and sale invoice, similar to sale of mobile phones and cars.