Integrated Urban Regeneration & Water Transport System: Kochi Metro Rail allowed to use drones for project

By: |
February 18, 2021 12:00 PM

A conditional exemption has been granted by the Civil Aviation Ministry and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the usage of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) to Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), Kerala for IURWTS.

Kochi Metro, IURWTSFor IURWTS project, the government has allowed Kochi Metro Rail Limited to use drones.

Kochi Metro Rail: For the Integrated Urban Regeneration and Water Transport System (IURWTS) project, the government has allowed Kochi Metro Rail Limited to use drones, subject to certain conditions. According to a PTI report, the conditional approval to use drones is valid till 31 December 2021 or until full Phase 1 operationalization of Digital Sky Platform, whichever falls early. A conditional exemption has been granted by the Civil Aviation Ministry and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the usage of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) to Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), Kerala for IURWTS, it said.

Prior to operating an RPAS, necessary clearances must be obtained by KMRL from the local administration, home ministry, defence ministry, Air Force and Airport Authority of India (AAI) as applicable. According to the report, Senselmage Technologies, which has been engaged by Kochi Metro Rail Limited through Techno Vision Survey and Mappings Limited, would only operate the RPAS. Photographs, as well as video graphs taken through the RPAS, should only be used by KMRL. Also, Kochi Metro would be responsible for the safety and security of RPAS as well as data collected through it.

The RPAS functioning shall be restricted to day operations i.e., from sunrise to sunset, within the Visual Line of Sight, only in uncontrolled airspace. Among other conditions of operating RPAS, the operator has to intimate the operation schedule to DGCA in advance for conducting safety oversight.

In the Union Budget for the financial year 2020-21, which was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month, it was announced that the Phase 2 of Kochi Metro Rail Network of 11.5 kilometres will be developed at a cost of Rs 1957.05 crores. The minister said that the conventional metro of 702 kilometres is operational at present. Besides, 1,016 kilometres of metro and RRTS network is under construction across 27 cities, she said.

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