Drone Policies African Aviation Authorities Can Borrow From India

With over 8 million drones flying across the Indian skies every day, no other country has witnessed widespread adoption of drone technology like India. By India’s population standards this is only a fraction of what they might consider as too many drones, but it has shown that India has led the way in problem-solving and realistic regulation when we look at the drone sector.

The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) partnered with Happiest Minds, a private company acting as the system integrator, to create a digital registration platform for all drone users in the country. The public notice themed “Voluntary disclosure of non-compliant drones in India” was forwarded by the Office of The Director-General of Civil Aviation. Every operator should acquire a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and an Unmanned Operator Permit (UOP) among other operational requirements. The directive took effect on January 13th and will run till the 31st. 

India had just carried out a drone census. The exercise targeted unmanned aircraft in general. This covered toys, prototypes, autonomous, remotely controlled aircraft systems, and remote-controlled aircraft. The whole process will kick in on the online portal. Digital Sky platform was first launched in 2018 by MOCA for drone operators to register their drones online. 

Governments and civil aviation authorities can borrow a tip or two from our Asian neighbor given similar socio-economic conditions and the realities of an emerging drone industry competing with the complexities of urbanization.

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