Global safety certification company UL has been approved to test and certify civilian drones to help companies meet the standards set out by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Ministry of Civil Aviation for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).
UL was approved by the Quality Council of India under the newly introduced certification scheme for drones. The certification scheme aims to improve the safety standards of drones produced and sold to the Indian drone market.
UL’s Bengaluru-based laboratory can now begin testing drones from companies wanting to get flight approval in the country. The tests consist of technical flight characteristics, flight management, and how a drone responds to a take-off command in a no-fly zone.
All companies and manufacturers are now required to take part in this testing and certification process. Once they have passed it, they will be given certification on behalf of the DGCA and the go-ahead to begin their drone operations.
Suresh Sugavanam, vice president and managing director of South Asia, UL shared:
Drone regulation is vital to help ensure the safety of people and products. With safety mechanisms in place, drones have the power to transform sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, and logistics as new use cases emerge every day. With our understanding of global regulatory mechanisms and leveraging our experience in developing UL Standards and certification of drones, we will work closely with key stakeholders across the drone value chain providing necessary guidance for bringing local products to the market.
The drones will be certified according to four categories: nano (total weight of 250 grams including payload), micro (250 grams to 2 kilograms), small (2 kg to 25 kg), and medium (25 kg to 150 kg). This will allow all sorts of certified drones to be used for various drone applications, from surveying to deliveries.
Amber Dubey, joint secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, added:
We understand that several domestic manufacturers are looking to introduce their drones for a wide variety of applications. The drone regulation will empower them to become self-reliant as envisioned under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat initiative. We are confident that the compliance framework developed by DGCA will catalyze increased localization of parts and lead the manufacturers on to a path of self-reliance and global competitiveness.