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Unauthorised drone flights, even for weddings photography, may put you behind the bars

Chandigarh, December 1, 2023 (Kulbir Singh Kalsi)
In a significant development, the Indian government has cracked down on the unauthorized operation of drones, including those used for photography and blogging. It has been clarified that every drone, regardless of its size or purpose, must obtain official permission before taking to the skies. This recent move comes in response to growing national security and public safety concerns.

Many individuals, especially photographers and bloggers, have been operating small drones to capture stunning aerial footage or take breathtaking pictures, believing that they do not need permission for such recreational activities. However, this assumption is incorrect, and the new regulations underscore the importance of adhering to the established guidelines.

Mr. Ankit Kumar, CEO of Skye Air Mobility, one of the leading UTM providers in India, stated, “We have designed state-of-the-art UTM technology tailored to India’s unique needs. We have successfully deployed this technology in many states, including Uttarakhand. It is the need of the hour to have a reliable UTM system in place, not only to protect national security but also to ensure that drone enthusiasts can enjoy their hobby without fear of breaking the law.”

One of the challenges faced by drone operators has been the lack of awareness about the application process and the authorities responsible for granting permissions. This has led to a surge in unauthorized drone usage, posing a serious threat to security, especially in border areas. Recent incidents of drug supply operations carried out through drones have further fueled the government’s determination to regulate this emerging technology.

To address these concerns and manage the increasing drone traffic, the government is actively exploring solutions such as Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems. UTM technology, often referred to as “ATC towers for drones,” operates through mobile applications and laptops, making it easier for drone operators to register, monitor, and track their drone flights, ensuring compliance with regulations.

The introduction of these stringent regulations, along with the implementation of UTM technology, is aimed at striking a balance between the growth of the drone industry and the safety and security of the Indian airspace. Drone operators are now encouraged to register their drones on UTM software to enjoy hassle-free flying experiences and avoid potential legal repercussions.

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