drone pilot industryGovt plans to make drones $18-20bn industry by 2030

October 8, 2021by helo-10

NEW DELHI: Paving the way for drones to usher in a ‘paradigm shift’ in India, just like mobiles and internet did some years back, the government is looking at making this a $18-20 billion industry here by 2030. Vaccine delivery by drones and mapping land parcels to give ownership titles (patta) have started in the country. Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia expects drone taxi prototypes to become operational in the world “in months”. This traffic-buster technology will also find its way to India in coming times.
“This new (drone) technology, in terms of both content and manufacture, combined with the versatility of its usage, will transform lives of the people. We saw an example of it on Wednesday (October 6) where PM Modi inaugurated the Swamitva scheme in Madhya Pradesh (that establishes clear ownership of property in rural inhabited areas by mapping of land parcels using drone technology) and over 3 lakh people got their land titles,” Scindia said.
Drones will be an employer multiplier. The value chain of drones includes manufacturing hardware and other is software (programming). “In Indian context, we have the engineering talent for manufacturing and software talent. Every use of the drone is predicated by the software, for which you need completely different programming. Using drones for different requirements need completely different programming. We will need millions of software programmers,” he said.

Then comes the application part. “This opens a new vista of opportunities for 1.3 billions people. Given its wide variety of uses across the board, there will be an avalanche of startups. Medicines from sky has started in Telangana. In Bhavnagar, we have sprayed farms with nano urea, which has significant health benefits for farmers,” he said.
Some young people have come up with an idea, he said, where police can rush drones to a place from where a crime has been reported. Drones can reach before the police do. “In the interim of a police support system reaching there, at least a drone is on sight filming everything that’s happening, which will put off perpetrators. It will have sirens and everything. The applications are myriad,” Scindia said.
Explaining the employment multiplier, he gave the example of Svamitva scheme, which will cover over 6.6 lakh villages of India. “Lakhs of drones will be up there, which will lead to requirement of millions of pilots. Unlike airline pilot that has rigorous expensive and lengthy course, a 16-year-old can become a drone pilot after a 45-day training. DGCA has to give licence to drone pilots within 15 days of application. A Rs 30,000 package (monthly) for a young 16-year-old. You are looking at an industry that be of the size of $18-20 billion by 2030. That’s the magnitude you are looking at.”
Scindia said there are 200 startups in the drone space already. “There is a tremendous plethora of startups in the space that is why our PLI policy is skewed towards the MSMEs. Today our drone industry is Rs 60-70 crore and it will go up to Rs 1,500 crore in three years. That’s a minimum multiple of 25 in 3 years. It will supersede by a huge amount,” Scindia said

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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