SOURCE: THE HINDU
Will the country’s aeromodellers get a reprieve in the proposed regulations on civil drones? Aviation hobbyists who were at an open house with Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and officials here on Tuesday came away with such a hope: that the government would consider framing separate CAR (Civil Aviation Requirements) for aeromodelling within the regulations for drones.
About 80 stakeholders including drone operators, drone makers and aeromodellers reportedly took part in the consultations attended by Hillol Biswas, Director (Aero Engineering Division), of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, sources said.
Kartik Shah, a Bengaluru entrepreneur and a long-time aeromodelling enthusiast with Wings India, said aeromodelling, unlike drones, is a benign, non-commercial sport that uses low technology. Individuals engage in it purely for recreation and as such, the threat perception from it was misplaced in the draft rules.
Ever since the MoCA released the draft rules for drones on November 1, thousands of hobbyists have been concerned that they would ring the knell for this popular area, he told The Hindu.
The draft says any unmanned or remote-controlled air vehicle above 2 kg must be registered with a unique identification number; it needs an operator’s permit if flown outside educational institutions, besides security clearances. Persons operating drones or plane models should be 18 years or above.
The Federation of Indian Aeromodellers’ Associations has already urged the Ministry to free the activity from these restrictions as well as conditions related to trade, import of accessories, and building of models. Aeromodellers do not want it to be seen as a drone — which can be for commercial uses, has GPS and high technology way points and must be operated using high skills.
Mr. Shah said hobby models often exceed this weight limit. School pupils are taught across India how to build small plane models. “The U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia, for example, do not have restraints on flying aero models. This is what we, too, would want in our regulations, while we do welcome security-related conditions.”
The sport, he said, binds several politicians, scientists, industrialists, celebrities and film actors.