BVLOS DRONE DELIVERY IN INDIA GETS CLOSER TO REALITY
India got its own drone policy in place in December 2018, but the country has not yet picked pace in drone usage. The recent development in this space is that BVLOS- Beyond visual line of sight-experimental trials has got a nod from Ministry of Civil Aviation & DGCA. Selected consortiums will be carrying out 100 hours of BVLOS trials on delivery of medicines and other packages in the first quarter of the financial year 2020. Alternative Global India (AGI) is the consulting firm associated with 4 such consortium out of which 1 has been selected so far, to anchor and manage the overall consortium.
The trials would commence in FY Q1 2020 in Bengaluru. There are multiple stakeholders in a given consortium which includes drone manufacturer, drone operator, UTM service provider, consortium consultant, safety expert, remote pilot, 3D mapping provider, mobile network operator (MNO), and data analytics provider. The trials would be done by experience PPL holders and trained drone pilots under the supervision of the safety expert. Pilots have recently been provided with adequate training organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA, and AAI on February 4th and 5th in Hyderabad.
AGI as the harbinger of the drone revolution in India has facilitated over 7 companies to venture in the Indian market. AGI has base in India, UK, USA and alliances in Taiwan, Australia, Spain. AGI is also helping multiple Indian drone companies to explore global markets as a part of expansion. It will help create partnerships with FAA of Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka to help them with Anti-Drone Technology. It is also working with top Indian companies in the area of Food, Medicine and Package Delivery to help them pave strategies for delivery by drone in the next 2 years. These are direct assignments to help companies create their drone delivery strategy.
This will be the first of its kind of trials being conducted and that too for 100 hours and as so far no one has flown 100 hours of BVLOS in India; the team will be facing a lot of challenges while doing different types of flights but the whole idea to do this is to learn and create ways to eradicate those challenges keeping the safety and security on top priority.”
Post the trials, safety case and proof of concept shall be submitted to DGCA, who may be working towards creating CAR 2.0 which shall allow BVLOS operations in India. This would open doors for immense business opportunities not just in the space of delivery but also infrastructure, surveying & mapping, Inspection activities in mining, oil & gas, transmission lines, telecom towers etc.
With this we will move beyond the initial stage. It is believed that drones powering last-mile delivery is a predictable part of the future. There are two verticals that would be the showstopper of drone industry - Delivery and Urban Air Mobility. Think of a future where packages would reach in few hours instead of days, food will reach within 5 minutes and one can travel from Vashi to the Mumbai Airport in just 10 minutes. That will contribute in productivity optimization. People need not waste time on road.
The environment is optimistic, with the right set of people, favorable government regulations and aerial technological advancements, Drone Delivery and Urban Air Mobility will be a game changer very soon.
DGCA invited EOI in May 2019 for companies to form consortium & present their interest in conducting BVLOS trials, 30 + companies showed their interest and after series of discussions and presentations, Ministry of Civil Aviation & DGCA allowed two consortiums to start the trials. There will other consortiums also joining in future. One such consortium is Dunzo Air Consortium which will be carrying out 100 hours BVLOS trials on delivery of medicines, packages etc. in the FY Q1 2020. We are a part of this consortium and have invited various companies to be a part of this.