May 4, 2021: The Civil Aviation Ministry has granted a conditional exemption to 20 selected consortia from UAS Rules 2021 to conduct beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) experimental flights of drones. The consortia includes big names like Dunzo Air Consortium, SpiceJet, Virginia Tech India, Skylark Drones and Swiggy, and 16 other entities.
The conditional exemption will be valid for 1 year or until further orders, the ministry stated.
Earlier, the Central Government formed the BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring (BEAM) Committee to invite applications of Expression of Interest (EOI) to carry out the BVLOS trial flights of drones. On May 13, 2019, the Director-General of India (DGCA) issued the EOI notice. The BEAM Committee received 34 EOIs and selected the 20 consortia. Thus, the Central Government exercised the powers conferred to it under Rule 70 of the UAS Rules 2021, which states, “The Central Government may, by general or special order in writing, exempt any uncrewed aircraft system or class of uncrewed aircraft system or any person or class of persons from the operation of these rules, either wholly or partially, subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in that order.”