Drone makers in India will be required to install a ‘shutdown’ featured hardware to ensure complete control during possible mishaps. According to recent reports, drone manufacturers must install a hardware chip which ensures a ‘final check’ for security purposes.
The new mandate aims to control rogue drones in case of a drone turning rogue. In a potential case of emergency, the technology would allow security agencies to command the drone to land immediately or order it to ‘return home’ as per necessity.
The idea of a hardware-embedded safety key was discussed during a meeting between various drone manufacturers in India and aviation minister, Jayant Sinha. The meeting took place alongside the Global Aviation Summit, on January 15 and 16 in Mumbai.
The drone safety issue has been an ongoing concern for several reasons. Recently, Gatwick airport in London experienced a complete closure due to drone sighting scare. Many such scares have cropped up around the world in recent years. Additionally, security agencies had also expressed concerns to the Indian government regarding drone operations.
The Policy is expected to boost drone manufacturing in India
The government aims to add clarity to drone manufacturing and operations with this move. The mandate is expected to clear security hurdles for drone manufacturers. Currently, India is home to more than 40,000 drones. The number is expected to skyrocket in the next five years to a million, according to official estimates.
According to industry experts familiar with the matter, the technology is available and can be installed in existing drones too. The new policy initiatives places the Indian government ahead of its counterparts around the world, where drone policy is yet to be finalized
The new policy would categorize drones in five different groups based on their weight. The various categories can classify drones starting from 250 grams to 150 kg into nano, micro, small, medium and large. Drones in every category except nano (mainly toys), will require registration.