DGCA approves Drone Academy at Telangana Agri University

It offers six-week training to ryots, agri-graduates, rural youth in drone piloting

December 18, 2023 05:53 pm | Updated 05:53 pm IST - hyderabad

Agri-drones on display on the campus of PJTSAU in Hyderabad

Agri-drones on display on the campus of PJTSAU in Hyderabad | Photo Credit: By Arrangement

hyderabad

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved the Drone Academy at Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU). This paves way for establishing a Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO) to provide agri-drone pilot training to farmers, diploma holders, agri-graduates and unemployed rural youth with the collaboration of Marut Dronetech Private Ltd for a period of 10 years.

According to the university officials, PJTSAU has been working on the development of crop-specific Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) for the drone-based pesticide spraying for seven major crops in Telangana – paddy, cotton, pigeonpea (redgram), groundnut (peanut), soybean, sesame (gingelly) and safflower.

Detailed information on the development of crop-specific SOPs for drone-based spraying of pesticides in major field crops was submitted to the National Committee in the Ministry of Agriculture. Keeping in view the agri-domain expertise of the university on drones, the DGCA has accorded permission to the PJTSAU Drone Academy for the benefit of the farming community in the State.

The officials stated that the academy would be operational soon in the old SABM building on the university’s campus here. The proposed agri-drone pilot training course would be offered for six days covering the aspects relating to drone piloting, operational safety, risk assessment, DGCA rules and regulations and crop specific SOPs among others.

It would be the first of its kind exclusive agriculture domain-specific drone pilot training institute and it would ensure the development of skilled human resources for the use of drones in agriculture and allied fields. It would also pave the way for the establishment of customer hiring centers (CHCs) by agri-graduates, farmer-producer organisations (FPOs), women self-help groups, rural entrepreneurs and would create new employment avenues.

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