The DGCA has issued a public notice on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) & Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for civil applications. The public notice, which must be complied with, bans the launch of any UAS or UAV in the Indian Civil Airspace.
Such a directive has been issued in the light of potential safety issues associated with high performance UAVs interfering with flight safety. Recent sightings of ‘UFO’s by commercial airline pilots have only helped speed up such a notification.
The notice, issued on 7th October 2014, will remain in effect till the DGCA formulates regulations associated with the certification & operation of UAS in the Indian Civil Airspace, in line with what the ICAO standardizes.
Impact on Hobby Flyers
Since the DGCA’s regulations concerning UAS/UAV will be in line with those of the ICAO, ICAO definitions and policies may be adopted, in large or in entirety.
ICAO Circular 328-AN/190 concerning both UAVs and UAS, states, “In the broadest sense, the introduction of UAS does not change any existing distinctions between model aircraft and aircraft. Model aircraft, generally recognized as in tended for recreational purposes only, fall outside the provisions of the Chicago Convention, being exclusively the subject of relevant national regulations, if any”.