Albeit a bit late, civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has finally taken a giant leap forward in commercializing the use of drones in Indian air space, which will come into effect from 1 December. With this, India will join the league of select nations, like the US, the UK and Germany which have mastered the art of using drones and regulating their flight. Some countries such as the US even have privacy laws governing the same. After several deliberations and numerous draft reports, the Indian regulator has finally chalked out a regulatory architecture for the use of drones while also listing several safeguards. Especially but not exclusively in sectors such as agriculture and health, it is to be hoped that India can reap the benefits of this technology as drones have the potential to not only contribute to the economy but also aid research, innovation andemployment generation.
While the prospects are encouraging, the Government must take it forward from here and address all concerns that large-scale usage of drone may give rise to. Most important of all will be to address privacy concerns. Armed as they are with video cameras and microphones, and with no restrictions on operating bar in no-entry air zones for security reasons, the possibility of drones being used for snooping is very real.