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Apr 2016 | No Comment

Now declaration of drones mandatory when entering India

The Government of India has amended the Customs Baggage Declaration regulations to make it mandatory to declare drones in customs forms, for people coming to India. The regulation has come into force 1st of April onwards.

Users carrying drones will have to fill further forms at the red channel, where the item might either be deemed ineligible for entry in India, or have a duty imposed upon it. Note that carrying drones on person was one of the last ways Indian enthusiasts could lay their hands on drones. The custom office has regularly held back or destroyed drone shipments citing that they are a threat to security and are banned from flying in India.

7 million drones by 2020? US projects explosive UAV growth

The number of drones in the US is expected to triple by 2020. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a staggering seven million drones will litter American skies in the next three years.

“Unmanned aircraft systems will be the most dynamic growth sector within aviation,” the FAA said in its annual forecast for the unmanned aerial sector. The agency also projects the number of drones to reach 2.5 million by the end of 2016. The biggest contributor to this increase will be the consumer drone sector, with purchases there accounting for 1.9 million units by the end of this year. It is estimated that hobbyist unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will account for 4.3 out of the seven million total drones by 2020.

Experts disagree on what implications any impending legal limitations will have on sales and fleet size. One thing is certain: The drone sector will undergo numerous changes in technology, regulations and pricing. The FAA was finding it tough for its legal guidelines to keep up with the constantly evolving technology, but in December issued new regulations requiring any UAV weighing more than .55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (25kg) to be registered.

“This registration rule will aid in investigations and allow the FAA to gather data,” the agency said, promising to release a final version of the updated regulations.

The preliminary version has already had substantial effect: Registration of privately owned drones has jumped from 180,000 in early January to nearly 400,000 after the February 1 deadline. Rising UAV numbers have been associated with all kinds of problems, including dangerous encounters where a drone may collide with ascending or descending aircraft. There are also privacy implications of the mini-drone voyeurism fever that has gripped the US.

The more drones are out there, the harder it is to track them. So the FAA has been working to develop its NextGen program to meet the demands of dealing with drones. It seeks to implement newer radar technologies and procedures involving satellite-based aircraft monitoring, and to slowly phase out the aging groundbased systems.

New Russian law obliges to register drones

“On introducing amendments to the Air Code of the Russian Federation regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles” is coming into force on March 30, 2016.

The document regulates the use of UAVs, or drones, and aims to increase the general level of aviation security. In connection with the great popularity of drones and the expansion of their scope of use, the need arose to specify certain provisions of the Air Code of the Russian Federation, as well as to establish a government UAV database.

According to the document, all UAVs whose maximum takeoff mass is equal to or exceeds 250 grams are subject to registration. Thus, the law covers even radio-controlled aircraft mockups and children’s toys. Registration of UAVs is not described in the law and will be regulated by an additional resolution of the government of the Russian Federation. In line with the resolution, there are plans to vest the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) with the functions of UAV registrar.

3D Robotics ropes in Autodesk to develop a UAV-to-cloud system

Drone manufacturer 3D Robotics has joined hands with Autodesk and Sony to develop a UAV-to-cloud system that can be used for construction, telecom, survey, mapping, energy and infrastructure workers. Once developed, the system will be able to scan the terrain in 3D and will simultaneously create detailed 3D models.

Juniper releases flight management software for UAV

Juniper Unmanned released its flight management software solution, Sparrow. The system is designed to support commercial UAS program operations. Sparrow provides a shared operational picture of a commercial UAS program by placing tracking, management and reporting at your fingertips. Sparrow’s web-based portal features an intuitive dashboard and provides a real-time summary of your aircraft, flight crews, and overall mission readiness.

Malawi tests UAV flights for early HIV diagnosis in infants

The Government of Malawi and UNICEF have started testing the use of UAVs to explore cost-effective ways of reducing waiting times for HIV testing of infants. The test, which is using simulated samples, will have the potential to cut waiting times dramatically, and if successful, will be integrated into the health system alongside others mechanisms such as road transport and SMS.

The first successful test flight completed the 10km route unhindered travelling from a community health centre to the Kamuzu Central Hospital laboratory. Residents watched as the vehicle took off and flew away in the direction of the hospital. UAVs have been used in the past for surveillance and assessments of disaster, but this is the first known use of UAVs on the continent for improvement of HIV services.

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