The tussle between the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) regarding the regulation of drones continues.
Origin of the Matter:
On April 2016, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued draft guidelines to regulate drones technically known as Unmanned aircraft systems. The guidelines faced much criticism from the Home ministry. Therefore, on August 2017, a new draft law regarding the regulations of low flying objects for inter-ministerial consultations was circulated by the MHA, which is a year after the DCGA put out guidelines to obtain unique identification numbers for citizens to use drones in the public.
MoCA’S response to MHA
The Director-General B.S Bhullar said that the DCGA holds the authority of licensing aircraft weather is manned or unmanned. He further added that as an aviation regulator they hold the responsibilities related to aircraft safety and pilot training.
Home Ministry’s point of view
“The DCGA has the capacity to detect aircraft of a particular size which flies at a certain altitude. It has radars to detect their presence. The unmanned objects, which fly low cannot be detected by the radar. It has security and privacy issues” said the Home Ministry. The need for a new law for the regulations of drones in the need of the hour because a couple of industrial houses want to use drones to keep their oil pipelines secured.
Drones are a highly dangerous and they always pose a threat to the security and privacy. Hence, I agree with the Aviation ministry that drones shall be connected to the Unique Identification number for use at Public Domain.
As far as the International regulation goes, aircraft, whether manned or unmanned doesn’t affect the aircraft status and the safety oversight belongs to the DCGA.
Both the ministries shall come together and make a law together which would cover demands from both the sides.