Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional permission for using drones to Kochi Metro Rail (KMRL), Kerala for the Integrated Urban Regeneration and Water Transport System Project (IURWTS).

This conditional exemption is valid until December 31, 2021, from the date of issue of the letter or until the full operationalisation of Digital Sky Platform (Phase-1), whichever is earlier.

“This exemption shall be valid only if all conditions and limitations as stated below are strictly adhered to. In case of violation of any condition, this exemption shall become null and void,” MoCA said in an official release.

KMRL is required to take necessary clearances from local administration, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Air Defence Clearance from Indian Air Force and Airport Authority of India (AAI) prior to operation of drones.

The ministry has stated that KMRL shall ensure that only trained I experienced bona fide personnel operates the RPAS as per the approved SOP. Subsequently, the RPAS operator shall ensure that remote flight crew is trained through approved FTOs/ RPTOs.

Necessary permission is also required for aerial photography from Directorate of Regulations and Information, DGCA or Ministry of Defence (as applicable). The photographs/video-graphs, taken through RPAS shall be used by KMRL only.

The operation of RPAS shall be restricted to day operations (from sunrise to Sunset) and shall not be operated in the vicinity of the airport.

“The operator shall intimate the schedule of operation (location and date of operation) to DGCA (as and when available) well in advance for conducting safety oversight. In this regard, KMRL shall ensure access to DGCA is provided to perform this function,” stated ministry.

Click here to view the public notice.