Fees for drone pilot training course will decrease within the next 3-4 months as the number of schools providing this course are going to increase, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday. A farmer — during a virtual interaction with Scindia on drones — raised the issue of high fees for a drone pilot training course.
Scindia said, “You said the fees of a drone pilot course is currently quite high. You should not worry at all.” In the last five months, aviation regulator DGCA has certified 23 schools for training drone pilots, he added.”As the number of schools keep increasing, the cost of training drone pilots will keep decreasing,” he said.
The minister gave the example of mobile phone’s cost and how it has decreased gradually over the years in India.”Therefore, as the number of schools increase, the cost of training drone pilots will also decrease. Within the next 3-4 months, you will see that revolution too as we keep increasing the number of such schools,” the minister stated.
Scindia said the country definitely needs more drone pilots and it is for this reason that their certification process has been completely decentralised.”So, now, the DGCA will only certify drone schools, and it is the drone school concerned which will grant certificates to pilots. We have completely removed bureaucracy from this process,” he noted.
The Civil Aviation Ministry had earlier this month invited second round of applications for the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme that was announced last year to boost drone manufacturing in India.The first round of applications for this scheme were invited on March 10 and its results were announced on April 20, wherein Adani Group’s joint venture company with Israeli firm Elbit, IdeaForge Technology, and 12 other drone companies were selected as beneficiaries.
The ministry had on September 16, 2021, announced the PLI scheme for drones and drone components with an allocation of Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years.Under the PLI scheme, the incentive for a manufacturer of drones and drone components will be 20 percent of the “value addition” made by the company during the next three years.
The value addition is calculated as the annual sales revenue from drones and drone components (net of GST) minus the purchase cost (net of GST) of drone and drone components.