Private companies can use drones for delivery, but rules have to be followed

Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Retired General VK Singh told the Rajya Sabha on Monday that private players are free to use drones for delivery related purposes by complying with the ‘Drone Rules 2021’. According to the ministry, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha regarding Drone Services for Private Players, VK Singh said that Drones provide tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy. These include agriculture, vaccine delivery, surveillance including search and rescue, transportation, mapping, defense and law enforcement.

According to reports, the Union Minister informed that the government had notified the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme in September last year to promote the development of drone manufacturing by private companies.

Under the scheme, an incentive of Rs 120 crore is given in three financial years. He said that the PLI for a manufacturer would be 25 per cent of the total annual outlay. The provisional list of 23 PLI beneficiaries was released on 6th July 2022. Of these, 12 manufacturers are associated with drones, while 11 are drone components manufacturers.

He said that the government is using the services of drone service providers for vaccine delivery as well as inspection of oil pipelines and power transmission lines, agricultural spraying, survey of mines and under the SVAMITVA scheme. Singh said that private players are free to use drones for delivery purposes as per the Drone Rules, 2021.

He said that the Drone Rules, 2021, notified on August 25, 2021, lay down the necessary regulatory framework for commercial use of drones. These rules cover various aspects such as type certification, registration and operation of drones, airspace restrictions, research, development and testing on drones, training and licensing, offenses and punishments, etc.