India selects additional drone operators to test BVLOS flights

According to press reports, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has selected two more companies to participate in its programme to test safe integration of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone flights, launched in May 2019.

“ShopX and SpiceJet’s cargo unit SpiceXpress are among five consortiums selected by India’s civil aviation authority to conduct experiments of long-range commercial drone flights,” reports the Economic Times of India. This follows the paper’s announcement in December that the DGCA had selected Dunzo and Throttle Aerospace Systems to conduct experimental BVLOS operations.

The BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring (BEAM) Committee is due to oversee the evidence collected on the use of drones and their safety aspects and submit findings to enable authorities in India to frame laws for long range and autonomous drone use.  Test flights are due to start in Feb 2020 and rule-making is expected to take more than six to eight months.

The newspaper says the DGCA invited all 30 consortiums that applied to participate in the BVLOS experiments to attend a drone pilot training programme 4-5 February at Begumpet, near Hyderabad.

(Image: kooljatt/Shutterstock)

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