Recently, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation released the draft national unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) policy
Key features of the policy
- Aim of the policy: It is aimed at creating a separate safe ecosystem for unmanned aircraft operations in low-level airspace (within 1,000 feet above ground level).
- Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) scenarios: The policy identifies 11 UTM operational scenarios. These scenarios include:
- Testing or recreational purposes
- Flying within and beyond visual line of sight
- Flying in no-fly zones, and
- Night operations.
- Framework: The policy also provides for a framework to subsequently integrate UTM with existing aircraft traffic
- Nodal Agency: Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be the nodal agency for regulating the operations on behalf of Director General of Civil Aviation. AAI will be responsible to ensure compliance of operations to various standards acceptable by DGCA.
- Data security: Data security and privacy of unmanned aircraft systems will be governed by the proposed Personal Data Protection Act. The policy recommends all software and hardware systems to be hosted in India
- Issues related to ecosystem: The policy provides for details on several aspects of the ecosystem including safety risk management, hazard risk management, operational risk management, and real time identification and tracking.