India To Get Air Taxis Soon Under New Drone Policy, Says Aviation Minister

The day is not far when air taxis will traverse the airspace under the new drone policy, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on August 26. “That time is not far when taxis, like the ones of Uber etc., that you see on roads, you will see in the air under the drone policy the minister. I believe this is very much possible,” stated during a press conference.   

“Air taxis are being researched and invented globally and many startups are coming up,” he added.   

The minister said that the Defence Ministry, the Home Ministry and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) have been working together to develop and adopt “counter rogue drone technology.”   

Sharing PM Modi’s belief, he further said, “Modi Ji has always believed that India should lead the world. We must stop being followers, instead must adopt a practice of being global leaders. New drone policy will create history in India’s ideology in the 21st century.”  

According to the freshly issued norms for the use of drones in India, no security clearance is required before registration or issue of licence for the operation of drones. Additionally, fees for these licenses have been reduced significantly.   

 The civil ministry aims to set up drone corridors for cargo deliveries. Coverage of drones has already been increased by 200 kilograms to include heavy payload-carrying drones and drone taxis or air taxis.   

As per a notification dated August 25, the Civil Aviation Ministry relaxed the rules regarding drone operations in the country; it has minimised the number of forms that need to be filled to operate them from 25 to 5 and reduced the type of fees charged from the operator from 72 to 4.   

It further informed that online registration of all drones should take place through the Digital Sky platform.   

Users will be notified of safety features such as ‘no permission-no take-off’ (NPNT) and a real-time tracking beacon. They will be provided with a six-month minimum lead time for compliance.   

Before flying a drone, all users have to go through drone training and examination by authorised schools following rules to be mentioned by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).   

The concept of an air taxi is gaining attention significantly. Several startups like German flying taxi startup Volocopter and automotive manufacturers such as Hyundai aim to make an air-taxi service operational as soon as possible. 

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