#Drone pilots in India required to be licensed and to pass a security clearance #quadcopters #UAS #UAV #modelaircraft

To fly a model aircraft in India over 2 kg mass will require remote pilots to have received certified flight training from an approved training organization, to pass a government license exam and security clearance, and the operator must be at least 18 years old. Pilots will also need permission of any property owner for take off and landing on the property.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come out with strict rules to keep a tab on people operating remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS). Strict rules

Source: Flying permit – Want to fly drones? Get trained first | The Economic Times

Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal reports the FAA is behind in developing standards for remote UAV identification. There are indications, such as past FAA study papers, that the government intends to require all (or most) model aircraft to carry on board radio identification transponders to continuously report their position, with hints the government will charge an annual fee to pay the government’s tracking infrastructure. Some proposals would require model aircraft transponder signals, which would have limited range, to be received by a smart phone app and then relayed into a national air traffic infrastructure via a smart phone network connection. (Would flight be prohibited in areas without cellular service?)

Other proposals are that all commercially built craft will require “geofencing”; it is unclear what the government intends to do about home built aircraft or how this would stop terrorists (who obviously would not use geofencing or remote IDs).

Depending on what the FAA decides, the nearly century long hobby of safely flying model airplanes could be negatively impacted with burdensome new rules.

As I’ve written about on this blog in the past, I anticipate there will be a recreational UAV license requirement and a remote ID transponder requirement, with a possible exemption for craft flown only at “community-based organization” model air fields, and possibly for craft flown in Class G air space. Everywhere else will likely require licensing and ID tracking, and depending on location, the filing of a flight plan before flying.

To put this in context, model aircraft have never killed anyone but will require licensing and transponders to track their location. Similarly, the government will require automatic braking systems on new vehicles, starting in 2022. Yet guns, implicated in over 33,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017 require no licensing or tracking – presumably the government will mandate real time tracking and licensing of weapons eventually too.

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