Centre grants permission to BCCI to use drones

“The Drone Rules 2021 are in the final stages of discussion with the law ministry

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted a conditional exemption to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the deployment of drones for live aerial cinematography of the India Cricket season in 2021.

MoCA had received requests from BCCI & M/s Quidich pertaining to granting of request and other correspondences regarding permission to use Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for live aerial filming. “The drone ecosystem is evolving rapidly in our country. Its utilization is expanding from agriculture, mining, healthcare and disaster management to sports and entertainment. The granting of this permission is in line with the objectives of the Government of India to promote the commercial use of drones in the country,” said Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation in a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release.

“The Drone Rules 2021 are in the final stages of discussion with the law ministry. We are hoping to receive the approvals by March 2021,” he added.
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 shall be valid only if all conditions and limitations as stated below are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, this exemption shall become null and void.

According to the release, the BCCI has to obtain necessary clearances from (a) Local Administration (b) Ministry of Defence (c) Ministry of Home Affairs (d) Air Defence Clearance from Indian Air Force and (e) Airport Authority of India (AAI) [as applicable] prior to operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

Moreover, M/s Quidich engaged by BCCI as RPAS operator shall only operate the RPAS models specified in the approved standard operating procedures (SOP) dated 8th January 2021.

The operations of the RPAS having valid Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN) [specified in the SOP] shall be operated as per the above-mentioned SOP in the area specified therein.

Any change in the approved SOP for e.g. change in procedures or RPAS or use case or personnel or area specified in the approved SOP shall be included in the SOP and submitted to DGCA for approval.

Centre grants permission to BCCI to use drones

Also, the BCCI has to take necessary permission regarding aerial photography from Directorate of Regulations and Information, DGCA or Ministry of Defence (as applicable).

The photographs/video graphs, taken through RPAS shall be used by BCCI only. BCCI shall be responsible for the safety and security of RPAS and data collected through RPAS.

These are some of the conditions and limitations to the BCCI and M/s Qujdich for using Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) for live Aerial Filming during cricket season 2021.

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