After Delhi airport scare, govt plans law to control use of drones

The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) is planning to bring in a legislation to prevent the misuse of drones, especially near airports of the country. On Sunday, the pilot of an Air Asia flight reported seeing a drone-like object near IGI Airport. Following this, the operations were shut for two hours.

delhi Updated: Aug 25, 2017 00:42 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times
Delhi airport drone,Delhi airport,IGI airport
On Sunday, pilots of two planes reported seeing some drones-like object near IGI Airport. Following this, the flight operations were shut down for nearly an hour. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

New Delhi

The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) is planning to bring in a legislation to prevent the misuse of drones, especially near airports of the country.

The Union home secretary recently a meeting to discuss the draft policy and an set of Standard Operating Protocols prepared by the Delhi Police.

On Sunday, the pilot of an Air Asia flight complained of getting distracted by drones while landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Following the pilot’s report, operations at Delhi airport were shut for two hours. The airport security force have been told to treat drone as possible security threats, but there is no guideline as to how to react when a drone is spotted in the vicinity of an airport.

Every month, six to seven cases of pilots getting distracted by different objects while landing/taking off are reported from Delhi airport.

Representative of Delhi Police, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indian Air Force (IAF) and companies that deals in drones were present in the recently held security meeting that was held .

“At this moment, the biggest threat for airport security is drones. Regular sighting has made it tough as there is currently no countermeasures in place to shoot down a flying object. CISF provides security. But there is no guidelines as to who tackles threats in the air. A discussion has been initiated and soon we will come out with strict guidelines in this regard,” said a source, who was present in the meeting.

Sources said that MHA will issue a notification, which will apply for the airports across the country. In the guideline, there will be provision of punishment for those selling and buying drones illegally.

“It was discussed that drones cannot be banned. So the ministry has to regularize the selling and purchase,” the source added.

Representatives of aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), were also present in the meeting and said that they are also preparing a guideline on the usage of any flying objects near the vicinity of airports.

“It was discussed that there should be a common law and it should be strictly implemented,” a DGCA represenattive added.

ENDS

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 22:29 IST