The Centre has given conditional permission to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to deploy drones for live aerial cinematography of the upcoming cricket season, including the Indian Premier League, officials said here on Monday.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has granted permission to use drones to the BCCI and drone operator Quidich till the year-end after it received a request for granting permission to use Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for live aerial filming. The first event to be captured by drones will be the IPL starting April this year.
“The drone ecosystem is evolving rapidly in our country. Its utilisation is expanding from agriculture, mining, healthcare and disaster management to sports and entertainment,” said Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation.
“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,” he added.
According to Dubey, 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 said.
The Mumbai Police are extremely wary about drones for various reasons, including a busy international airport and the mini Juhu Airport in the heart of the city, plus major defence installations and other sensitive places in and around the city.
The validity of the conditional permission shall only be till December 31, 2021 subject to strict adherence to all conditions and limitations by the authorities and any violation could render it null and void.
Besides, the BCCI would require clearances from the local administration, defence extablishments, Indian Air Force and Airport Authority of India before operating the drones.
Quidich can only operate the RPAS models specified by the authorities within a specified area, and any kind of changes would require the approval of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The BCCI would ensure that only trained and experienced bonafide personnel operate the drones. The RPAS must be in full working condition, maintain record of each drone flight etc.
Other permissions for carrying out aerial photography would be acquired by the BCCI from the DGCA and the Ministry of Defence and the photos/videos captured by the drones shall be used only by the BCCI, which would be responsible for the safety and security of all the content.
The drones can be operated only in daylight, or well-lit (2000-lux plus) conditions within the visual line of sight up to a height of 200 feet in uncontrolled airspace.
While the BCCI and Quidich would comply with all the safety norms prescribed, in case of any mishap, the operator would submit a detailed report to the Air Safety Directorate of the DGCA within 24 hours.