The government has allowed 20 entities, including Spicejet and Dunzo Air Consortium, to conduct Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) experimental flights of drones, said the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday.
BVLOS describes operating UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and drones at distances outside the normal visible range of the pilot. BVLOS is the second stage of testing drones and UAVs, as drones are generally operated within the visual line of sight during the first phase of testing. If the two stages are completed successfully, further clearance will be sought from the authorities to explore the possibility of vaccine delivery using drones.
The entities and companies include Aerospace Industry Development Association of Tamil Nadu (AIDAT), ANRA consortiums, Asteria Aerospace Pvt. Ltd., AutoMicroUAS Aerotech Pvt. Ltd., Centillion Networks Pvt. Ltd., ClearSky Flight Consortium, Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Pvt. Ltd., Marut Dronetech Pvt. Ltd., Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd., Saubika Consortium, Skylark Drones & Swiggy, ShopX Omnipresent Consortium, Terradrone Consortium B, The Consortium, Throttle Aerospace Systems Pvt. Ltd., Value Thought IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd., and Virginia Tech India.
“The preliminary permission grant is envisioned to assist the supplementary framework development of subsequent UAV rules pertaining to Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations,” MoCA said in the statement.
“BVLOS trials will help create a framework for future drone deliveries and other major applications using drones,” it added.