India notifies drone certification scheme to boost indigenous manufacturing

NEW DELHI: India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Wednesday notified a drone certification scheme to ensure minimum safety and quality requirements as it will boost indigenous manufacturing, an official statement said.

“The drone certification scheme notified on January 26, 2022, under Rule 7 of the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021 will help in simpler, faster and transparent type-certification of drones,” the MoCA said on Twitter.

Along with the liberalised drone rules, airspace map, the PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme and the single window DigitalSky Platform, this will help drone manufacturing industry in India, grow, it stated.

“Another step in making India the drone hub of the world by 2030,” it mentioned.

The MoCA had on September 16 last year approved a PLI scheme for drones and drone components with an allocation of Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years.

The PLI scheme came as a follow-through of the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021, released by the MoCA on August 25, 2021.
The certification criteria mention in the drone certification scheme (DCS) — which was notified on Wednesday — will be applicable to indigenous drone manufacturers, assemblers as well as importers, the MoCA noted.

The objective of this DCS is to provide the minimum requirements for airworthiness — safety and security requirements — for drones and enable their evaluation for certification, it mentioned.

A multi-stakeholder steering committee (MSC) chaired by a known professional, who is respected by government and industry alike, will oversee the scheme, along with a QCI (Quality Control of India) secretariat, it stated.

This MSC will also be supported by a technical committee (TC) and a certification committee (CC) that will be constituted by the QCI, the MoCA mentioned.

The manufacturer, while submitting an application for certification of a drone, will have to submit various data and test results on topics such as weight, type of launch and recovery mechanism installed, speed, range, endurance, battery performance, type of material used in construction, according to the MoCA.

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