Govt offers PLI for drone sector; 63 pilot training centres launched

Minimum value addition norm has been at 40% of net sales for drones and drone components instead of 50% which is another exceptional treatment for the industry

PLI for drone sector

New Delhi: The Central government has notified production linked incentive (PIL) scheme to promote manufacturing of drones and their components to make the sector self-sustaining and globally competitive, said Union minister of state for civil aviation VK Singh in Rajya Sabha.

The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has disbursed a sum of ₹30 crore to the drone and its component manufacturing units in the fiscal 2022-23 so far. The PLI rate for drone industries has  20% of the value addition which is one of the highest among similar scheme. The minimum value addition norm has been at 40% of net sales for drones and drone components instead of 50% which is another exceptional treatment for the industry.

Import of drones banned since last year

Drone import policy has been notified on February 9, 2022, banning import of foreign drones and freeing up import of drone components. Drone rules have been liberalized to facilitate wider application of drones.

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Given the combined benefits of the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021, the PLI scheme, the prohibition of drone imports and growing utilisation, the Indian drone industry is likely to grow along with an increase in employment.

DGCA approves 63 remote pilot training organisations

Since notification of Drone rules, 2021, 63 remote pilot training organisatios (RPTOs) have been approved by DGCA for providing drone training/skilling across the country. Till date, these training schools have certified more than 5500 remote pilot certificates (RPCs). The certificates are awarded to an individual after imparting training for drone operation.

Over 10,000 registered drones in India

As on date, a total of 10010 drones are registered with a Unique Identification Number (UIN). DGCA has issued 25 type certificates till date for drones manufacturing in India.

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Drones also known as remotely piloted aircraft systems have become increasingly popular and is definitely the future of aviation. All the key sectors such as agriculture, contraction, logistics, and marine have slowly begun to adopt drone technology and hence it has grown exponentially. This rapid growth paves way for higher demands for drone pilots.

Drone utility sector is growing fast

Drone piloting skills have transformed the outlook of various sectors. Drone pilots required in the utility sector are responsible for inspecting power lines, telephone towers wind turbines, and those in mining sectors measure stockpiles of minerals. Many such tasks have been made time efficient and cost-efficient with the use of drones.

Profession drone pilots are key to growth of the sector

An important part of becoming a drone pilot is your proficiency, skills, knowledge, and correct attitude. Therefore, acquiring an RPC comes with an elaborate training and testing process. A drone pilot should efficiently be able to handle operations with varying intensities of complexities. A professional drone pilot should be a visionary when it comes to tackling on-spot emergencies and hence RPC training plays an important role in shaping this within drone aviators.

Why do drone operators need RPC?

A drone pilot license is required in order to carry out drone operations safely and legally. This has been mandated as per DGCA regulations that drones or remotely piloted aircraft should only be operated by individuals that hold an RPC. And thereby to be a drone pilot, an RPC is a must. A qualified RPC holder has gone through a chain of training programs and tests and is now equipped to become a drone pilot.

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A remote pilot certificate is important because this license can only be issued by an authorized institution after proper training and evaluation of an individual’s specialization for operating a particular class or classes of drones. This license is valid for 10 years and can be renewed with an application. This license is issued by DCGA only after receiving and carefully evaluating the certificate of training and report of skill sets by an authorized institution. The pilot should be well versed with the basic tenets of flying: weather, wind speed, avionics and so on.

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