India has started making guidelines to permit the use of drones in the civil sector. These new guidelines should be completed within a few months, exciting companies like Flipkart and Amazon. Aviation regulator, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) says that India may be allowed to use UAVs for delivery and other important operations in the near future. The initial testing that has been completed has shown very promising performance/results.
Given that, India might still be one of the first countries to use drones for civil purposes, as the guidelines are on a fast track. Other civil aviation ministry officials said that issues that might compromise safety are being looked into at this moment, and it will take a couple of months to figure those out.
However, the use of drones are permitted in film-making, where shooting is done using drones from a height of 200 to 400 feet. Last year, US-based e-commerce giant Amazon was expected to start doing trials of delivery through drones in India. Reports even mentioned that Amazon will start delivery in the festive season of 2014, using drones, but the current regulations don’t permit such operations. Amazon officials were unavailable for comments.
Also, last year, a restaurant in Mumbai tested pizza delivery with a customised drone, where a pizza weighing half a kilogram was delivered in Lower Parel. The total time of delivery and the drone coming back was shorter than what a delivery boy takes — 30 minutes. Drones can do deliveries up to 8 km from the warehouse. Experts say that last-mile deliveries from dispatch centres can be done by drones, much faster.