Bhubaneswar: In an attempt to streamline the civil use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, commonly known as drones, the state government is going to put restrictions in line with the regulations framed by Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA).

The Transport and Commerce department has asked all District Collectors and superintendents of police (SPs) to allow flying of drones of the operators, who have requisite clearances from Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The MoCA secretary, Pradeep Singh Kharola, has recently written to Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy asking the latter to enforce the unmanned aircraft systems traffic management (UTM) regulations in the state.

Drones are being used in various spheres of civilian activities including surveying, aerial photography, delivery of medicines, disaster relief and other purposes. To regulate the flying of drones, the Centre has developed a digital sky platform for registration of the drones.

The digital sky platform will be used for registration of drones, manufacturers, operators, approval of flight path, analysis of post flight data etc.

Accordingly, the MoCA secretary has requested state governments to nominate nodal officer, who will have a role in operation of digital sky platform and will be liaisoning with this ministry for any matter pertaining to remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and regulation of UTM.

The state government has asked the Home department and Police DG to nominate an officer for the purpose.

As per norms, the drone operators have to obtain Unique Identification Number (UIN), Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) and other operational requirements for flying drones in civil areas.

In 2018, the DGCA has released a 37-page-long set of rules for flying drones in India. Indian Air Force will monitor all drone movements in the country in coordination with Airports Authority of India while the DGCA will have the power to suspend any permit given to fly drones in case of violation of regulations. Violators can also attract police action in case any IPC section is violated.

To prevent unauthorised flights and ensure public safety, drones without digital permits to fly will simply not be able to take off. The UTM operates as a traffic regulator in the drone airspace and coordinates closely with the defense and civilian air traffic controllers (ATCs) to ensure that drones remain on the approved flight paths.

The regulation defines “No Drone Zones” around airports; near international border, Vijay Chowk in Delhi; State Secretariat complex in state capitals, strategic locations/vital and military installations among other places.