Drone deliveries can pave the way for contactless delivery in the wake of the pandemic.
DCGA has shortlisted thirteen companies for drone deliveries beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).
Airspace has been allotted to these companies for running their tests.
In a landmark decision, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given its nod of approval to various companies and start-up that also includes “to hyper-local delivery startups such as Dunzo, Swiggy, Zomato” for beginning with experiments with beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drones for delivery operations.
According to reports, DGCA has confirmed this news and that altogether thirteen firms are permitted by the regulatory body to begin with their drone operations and testing.
The said list of companies is also reported to include airline service provider SpiceJet and start-up Asteria Aerospace which is provided backing by Reliance among other entities.
India has announced its plan for allowing testing of long-range drone policies before the legislators come up with a policy regarding this sector the previous year.
The aforementioned BVLOS drones experiment is scheduled to begin from the month of July.
The approval aims at making drones widespread available for commercial and civilian usage. DCGA had sought applications from firms who want to conduct tests of BVLOS drones earlier this May.
The former consortia will have to complete a minimum of hundred hours of flight time in the allotted airspace by the Airport Authority of India by 30th of September 2020 and submit their reports to DCGA.
Ajay Singh, MD and Chairman, Spicejet said, “Testing of drone technology for last-mile connectivity and cost-effective cargo deliveries are a big leap in the air transportation of essential and non-essential supplies in India,”
Spicejet has previously reported in May that it had received permission for conducting drone trials. It is reported that SpiceXpress which is the airline’s cargo subsidiary would deliver essentials and medical supplies after completion of trials.
A Zomato spokesperson communicated, “We have been working on powering delivery via drones for some time now and welcome this move from DGCA to test systems. We are excited to build the future of aerial food delivery in India,”
Zomato had conducted trials in May 2019 for drone delivery in which it delivered a 5 kg payload over a distance of 5 km in 10 minutes previously in the year 2016.
The Central Government has come up with a draft policy which covered creating drone ports, coming up with drone corridors and to allow 100%b Foreign Direct Investment in ‘manufacturing the remotely piloted aircraft’ in India.
This nod has come at a time while the whole world is embracing the drone technology and can play a pioneering role in contactless delivery.