Centre permits Kochi Metro Rail to use drones for IURWTS project
Kochi MetroIANS (FIle photo)

Centre permits Kochi Metro Rail to use drones for IURWTS project

New Delhi, February 17, 2021

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted a conditional exemption for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) usage to Kochi Metro Rail Limited, Kerala for its Integrated Urban Regeneration & Water Transport System Project (IURWTS).

The conditional exemption is valid till December 31, 2021, from the date of issue of the letter or until the full operationalization of Digital Sky Platform (Phase-1), whichever is earlier.

This exemption will be valid only if all conditions and limitations as stated in the order are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, this exemption will become null and void, the Ministry said in a press release.

Among the terms and conditions, KMRL has been asked to obtain necessary clearances from the Local Administration, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs. It should get Air Defence Clearance from the Indian Air Force and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) before operation of RPAS.

Senselmage Technologies engaged by KMRL (through Techno Vision Survey & Mappings Ltd) should only operate the RPAS models specified in the approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

KMRL shall ensure that only trained and experienced bona fide personnel operate the RPAS as per the approved SOP. Subsequently, the RPAS operator shall ensure that the remote flight crew is trained through approved FTOs/ RPTOs.

The RPAS Operator shall ensure that the RPAS is in working condition and maintained as mentioned in the approved SOP and shall be responsible for any eventual ties due to malfunction or disorientation of equipment.

The RPAS operator shall maintain the records of each RPA flight and make such records available to the DGCA on demand.

KMRL shall take necessary permission regarding Aerial Photography from Directorate of Regulations & Information. DGCA or Ministry of Defence (as applicable). The photographs/video-graphs, taken through RPAS shall be used by KMRL only. KMRL shall be responsible for the safety and secu1rity of RPAS and data collected through RPAS.

The RPAS operator shall ensure that the RPAS are made NPNT-compliant [certified by QCI] as soon as the digital sky platform is made operational.

KMRL shall ensure that each RPAS operated by Senselmage Technologies for the subject purpose has fire-resistant identification plate inscribed legibly with OAN, DAN and Model No. of the RPAS.

The operation of RPAS shall be restricted to day operations (from sunrise to sunset), within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) in uncontrolled airspace only and at a height of 200fl maximum from AGL.

RPAS shall not be operated in the vicinity of the airport as per the provisions of the CAR. If required to operate near the airport, approval from Airports Authority of India (AAI) and/or concerned airport/airfield operator shall be taken in advance regarding time and area of operations of RPAS.

KMRL shall ensure that no items are discharged or dropped during the flight of the RPAS. The KMRL shall also ensure that hazardous material or variable payloads are not carried in the RPA under any circumstances.

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