Indian civilian UAS users investigated

Francesco’s Pizzeria, in Mumbai, India, is situated in one of the busiest cities in the world. Mumbai’s congestion is notorious-and Francesco’s Pizzeria has sought to remedy this with the use of a drone-on May the 11th, they delivered a pizza via drone to a skyscraper in the Mumbai business district.

A video of the flight can be found on their YouTube channel:

However, the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation, as well as the Mumbai police force, are reportedly investigating whether the restaurant had a permit to fly the drone, as in India the use of any civil UAS unauthorised by the government is strictly forbidden as of October 2014. (http://dgca.nic.in/public_notice/PN_UAS.pdf)

This isn’t the first case of the Indian authorities stepping in to intervene when UAS are used without permission-in February of 2016, nine Ukranian tourists were detained by police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in the city of Tiruvannamalai, for using a drone to photograph the famous Arunachaleswarar temple. Tiruvannamalai police have also arrested a UK tourist for flying his drone without a permit, and people charged with these offences could face a US$15 fine or up to six months in prison.

Additionally, in May this year, Indian police seized ten Chinese-made DJI Phantom-4 drones from a passenger at Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore. The Indian government allegedly fears that these drones, which can fly entirely autonomously, pose a security risk for Indian airspace.

The detaining of civilian drone users in India is as a result of its as-yet-unformed regulations for the use of UAS-a committee of experts was appointed in May to finalise guidelines and laws for the use of drones in India-which will hopefully soon make an improvement over the blanket ban on UAS that India is currently subject to.