ATS tells govt to ban unapproved drones



Panaji: In view of threats to security during the ongoing tourist season, the flying of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) — commonly known as drones — for civil purposes, sans the requisite permissions, is likely to be banned. Taking note of the fact that no approvals are obtained for the use of most UAVs in the state, Goa police’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS) has recommended that the government ban the use of drones for civil purposes. The squad has written a letter to both district collectors requesting them to issue an order to the effect under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

“There is an urgent need to keep a track of the flying of commercial drones by way of appointing a controlling body to supervise and regulate such activity through the framing of new guidelines/measures. Till then, as a precautionary measure, regulatory orders prohibiting the use of drones till specific rules/guidelines come into force should be brought into effect,” the ATS’ letter states.

The squad has reiterated that the formulation of regulations and subsequent law enforcement would play a significant role in monitoring UAV usage by anti-social elements, better enabling the police to thwart any activity that could endanger life and property.

“In case the user intends to use UAVs at public or private events, necessary approval shall compulsorily be obtained from the controlling body well in advance,” the squad’s letter reads.

In the event of an individual deciding to sell or buy a UAV, the ATS has suggested that the same be intimated to the authorities well in advance and the registration process adhered to. It has also recommended that owners furnish details of their respective drones, complete with purpose of usage, to the controlling body and that the devices be inspected by technical experts.