Government notifies framework to manage drone traffic

Photo used for representation purpose only.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has notified a traffic management policy framework for drones, which envisages private, third-party service providers for ensuring safe operations.

Under the framework, these Unmanned Traffic Management Service Providers (UTMSP) will extend automated, algorithm-driven software services instead of voice communication as in the traditional Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. They will primarily be responsible for segregating and separating a drone from other drones and manned aircraft in the airspace below 1,000 feet in the country.

The traffic management providers will be assisted by Supplementary Service Providers (SSPs), who will maintain data about terrain, weather, location of manned aircraft and provide services such as insurance, data analytics and drone fleet management.

The drone traffic management policy also requires integration of UTM with ATM so that flight plans and real-time location of manned aircraft can be recorded as well in order to continuously separate manned and unmanned aircraft from each other.

Law enforcement and security agencies will also have access to some information in the UTM ecosystem on a need-to-know basis.

The policy also allows UTMSPs to levy a service fee on users, a small portion of which will also be shared with the Airports Authority of India.

In order to implement this policy, the government is likely to carry out UTM-based experiments in the country and then float a request for proposal for onboarding UTMSPs.

Following which an evaluation process will be undertaken and successful participants will be awarded regions for establishment of UTM services. UTMSPs will be deployed in small areas to begin with and their geographic presence may be increased subsequently.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 5:05:11 AM |

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