DGCA India Drone rules: NPNT and SSB

On my last post I explained details of drone policy published on 27th Aug 2018, the policy was in draft for last 3 years. Now they published it but this is still incomplete without the agencies expected work in middle. Here i am listing some issues which are still not clear.

1.NPNT Compliance

No Permission No Takeoff is a new concept in all over the world for controlling UAV usage and traffic. This is a Part of Digital Sky Platform which is yet to be released by DGCA India. User(pilot) Have to register himself(with UAOP) and the drone(with UIN) and then install a mobile App to get permission for each flight just before flying.

How NPNT works ?

  • User installs the Digital Sky App provided by DGCA.
  • Submit pilot registration number, indirectly all details of pilot.
  • Submit device UIN number, it means all details of the UAV/drone.
  • Before Flying you request for permission.
  • UIN, UAOP and the current location(latitude, longitude) transmitted to server
  • Server checks whether its green zone, yellow zone or red zone
  • Checks for other exceptional entries for no permission
  • and the UIN, UAOP validity
  • if everything is OK then permission sent the UAV directly through the NPNT device and an acknowledgement message to the user app.

But still the user have to report police for each flight which seems weird.

Incomplete How ?

  • When will be the digital sky Platform will be launched ?
  • What will be the API to integrate with drones ?
  • What will be procedure for 2way communication with ATS.(necessary for all drones except nano)

Now none of drone manufacturer know about the API, so it will take time atleast one month after DGCA releases the Digital sky platform API and integration details.

2. No rule for Spraying Drones

From market survey we learned that Indians are more interested in spraying drones compared to the imaging drones. But its clearly mentioned on the documents published by DGCA that spraying is not allowed till now. Indians are not so much aware of the other uses of drone in agriculture except spraying. NDVI scanning or classifier based data extraction from farm fields need good skill in computing.

3. SSR transponder or ADS-B Out

These devices will make the airspace safe but it will increase the cost by 2000 dollars(INR 140000/-) or more. Usually these devices are used in manned air vehicles like helicopter or planes. ADS-B Out system works like a beacon broadcasting its own position heading and other data in a open band. it is bulky for manned vehicles and costly too. uAvionix introduced a cheaper solution for drones. Here is a screenshot from google search.

While it is purely unnecessary for drones flying at 400 ft height if he is 10 km away from an airport, DGCA made this compulsory for all except nano class. No airplane is expected at 400ft in a fly safe zone.