Delhi, Feb 08: The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday said they have granted conditional exemption to BCCI for the deployment of drones for live aerial cinematography of the India cricket season in 2021.
MoCA had received requests from BCCI & Quidich Innovation Labs 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 statement.
“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.
DCGA had in the past given permission to BCCI for live aerial videography for IPL matches.
BCCI has been given the conditional permission till December 31, 2021 or until the full operationalisation of Digital Sky Platform (Phase-1), whichever is earlier.
The cricket board will need to obtain necessary clearances from local administrations, Defence Ministry, Ministry of Home Affairs , Airports Authority of India and the Indian Air Force prior to operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
Moreover, Quidich engaged by BCCI as RPAS operator shall only operate the RPAS models specified in the approved standard operating procedures (SOP) dated January 8, 2021.
‘BCCI shall ensure that only trained, experienced and bonafide personnel operates the RPAS as per the approved SOP. Subsequently, the RPAS operator shall ensure that remote flight crew are trained through approved FTOs/ RPTOs,” the Ministry said.
The conditions specified by the Ministry include that that the photographs and videographs, taken through drones will only be used by BCCI and that it will be responsible for the safety and security of data collected through RPAS.
‘The operation of RPAS shall be restricted to daylight or well-lit conditions (above 2000 lux), within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) in uncontrolled airspace only and upto height of 200 ft (AGL) max only,’ the Ministry added.
It has also prescribed various safety measures that will need to be followed by BCCI and Quidich, which include not operating drones in the vicinity of the airports and ensuring no hazardous materials are carried in the payload of RPA among others.
‘The operator shall intimate the schedule of operation [location and date of operation] to DGCA [as and when available] well in advance for conducting safety oversight. In this regard, BCCI shall ensure access to DGCA are provided to perform this function,’ the statement said.