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Dec 2014 | No Comment

Companies hit as DGCA bans use of drones

Several companies have had to stop using drones to provide services such as aerial photography after the aviation authority banned the operation of these unmanned vehicles in civilian airspace until regulations are in place.

The decision has set back plans of companies offering a variety of services using drones, including those by online retailer Amazon.Mumbai-based Airpix, with clients such as Reliance Energy and builders Kalpataru and Omkar Realtors, had to stop offering its flagship aerial photography service since the Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued the circular earlier this month.

The DGCA is in the process of formulating regulations and globally harmonising them for certification and operation for use of unmanned aerial systems in Indian civil airspace, the regulator said recently. http://

Unmanned exemptions requests pile up at FAA

The number of special requests to fly unmanned aircraft commercially has surpassed 130 as firms search for a way around a federal ban on for-pay flights. The new numbers came to light the same day a court decision underscored regulators’ authority to rein in the industry with restrictions unlikely to be lifted until new rules are put in place years from now.

Out of the 130 operators who have filed petitions with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) thus far, only seven aerial film companies have been granted exemptions from the current constraints, although “additional companies are expected to be granted exemptions soon.

Transport Canada simplifies UAS rules

During a recent announcement, Transport Canada announced two exemptions that simplify small unmanned aerial vehicle operations in Canadian airspace. Under the new exemptions, commercial use of UAS will no longer require a special flight operations certificate or SFOC for any UAV under 2kg and certain operations with a UAV under 25kg. The department has also simplified the application process and time it takes to issue SFOCs for larger UAVs. The changes will come into effect soon and operators must check on the Transport Canada website for exemption requirements and safety conditions including maintaining visual line of sight, respecting maximum altitudes and staying clear of built-up areas.

A drone to detect asbestos

A drone aimed at detecting asbestos in the environment was presented in Rome, by the Italian National Research Council (CNR), along with Aermatica, manufacturer of remotely piloted aircrafts (RPA).

A hyperspectral sensor and a compact camera were integrated into the drone. During the flight the hyperspectral sensor detects the frequencies issued by the surface and identifies the specific one of asbestos, its “signature”, the presence and state of deterioration that allow to establish priorities for the removal. Aci Consult organizes the overflight and mapping; the areas involved are indicated by the city Council; Aermatica collects all the data acquired by the drone and delivers it to CNR, which analyses the data and draws up the final report. All this happens with a significant lower cost compared to using aircrafts with crew. The drone is expected to start operations in Rome in the spring of 2015.

FAA Offi cial: Small Drone Rule to Be Released by End of Year

According to a Federal Aviation Administration official, after years of waiting, the agency was close to releasing a ruling that would give commercial entities greater access to fly small unmanned aerial system in the domestic airspace. The proposed ruling, which the agency has been working on over the past year, is currently being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, Jim Williams, manager of the FAA’s UAS integration office.

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