Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the deployment of drones for live aerial cinematography of the India Cricket Season in 2021.
MoCA had received requests from BCCI & M/s Quidich pertaining to granting of request and other correspondences regarding permission to use Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for live aerial filming.
Shri Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “The drone ecosystem is evolving rapidly in our country. Its utilization is expanding from agriculture, mining, healthcare and disaster management to sports and entertainment. The granting of this permission is in line with the objectives of the Government of India to promote the commercial use of drones in the country.”
“The Drone Rules 2021 are in the final stages of discussion with the law ministry. We are hoping to receive the approvals by March 2021″, he added.
The conditional exemption is valid till 31st December 2021 from the date of issue of the letter or until the full operationalization 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.
Conditions and limitations to the BCCI and M/s Qujdich for using Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) for live Aerial Filming during cricket season 2021
- This exemption to the BCCI from the paragraphs 5.2(b), 5.3, 6, 7, 8.4, 9.2, 11 (d), 11.2 (a), 12.3(a), 12.4 and 12.5 of CAR Section 3, Series X, Part I is subject to exemption from Rule 15A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 by Ministry of Civil Aviation.
- The BCCI shall obtain necessary clearances from (a) Local Administration (b) Ministry of Defence (c) Ministry of Home Affairs (d) Air Defence Clearance from Indian Air Force and (e) Airport Authority of India (AAI) [as applicable] prior to operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
- M/s Quidich engaged by BCCI as RPAS operator shall only operate the RPAS models specified in the approved Standard Operating procedures (SOP) Doc No QIUSOP/2021/01 Rev 0 dated 8th January 2021. The operations of the RPAS having valid Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN) [specified in the SOP] shall be operated as per the above-mentioned SOP in the area specified therein. Any change in the approved SOP for e.g. Change in procedures or RPAS or use case or personnel or area specified in the approved SOP shall be included in the SOP and submitted to DGCA for approval.
- BCCI 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 are trained through approved FTOs/ RPTOs.
- The RPAS Operator shall ensure that the RPAS is in working condition and maintained as mentioned in the approved SOP and shall be responsible for any eventualities due to malfunction I disorientation of equipment.
- The RPAS Operator shall maintain the records of each RPA flight and make such records available to the DGCA on demand.
- BCCI shall take necessary permission regarding Aerial Photography from Directorate of Regulations & Information, DGCA or Ministry of Defence (as applicable). The photographs/video graphs, taken through RPAS shall be used by BCCI only. BCCI shall be responsible for safety and security of RPAS and data collected through RPAS.
- The Operator shall ensure that the RPAS are made NPNT compliant [certified by QCI) as soon as the digital sky platform is made operational.
- BCCI shall ensure that each RPAS operated by Quidich has fire resistant identification plate inscribed legibly with OAN, DAN and Model No. of the RPAS.
- The operation of RPAS shall be restricted to daylight or well-lit conditions (above 2000 lux), within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) in uncontrolled airspace only and upto height of 200 ft (AGL) max only.
- RPAS shall not be operated in the vicinity of airport as per the provisions of the CAR. If required to operate near the airport/ in controlled airspace, approval from Airports Authority of India (AAI) shall be taken in advance regarding time and area of operations of RPAS.
- BCCI shall ensure that no items are discharged or dropped during flight of the RPAS. The BCCI shall also ensure that hazardous material or variable payload are not carried in I using the RPA under any circumstances.
- BCCI shall ensure that uninvolved persons are not allowed within the operation area [including Ground Control Station] and ensure safety conditions specified in the approved SOP and in this letter are adhered to.
- BCCI shall ensure safety, security, and privacy of public, property, operator etc. Further, in case of any eventuality, DGCA shall not be held responsible.
- The operator shall ensure the RPAS is not flown in a manner to cause danger to any person or property. In case of any injury to any person due to physical contact with the equipment, The Operator and BCCI shall be responsible for medico-legal issues. The BCCI shall ensure the insurance policy remains valid and of adequate level to cover any damage to third party resulting from accident I incident occurred during the operation of RPAS.
- The operator shall not operate the RPAS in no-fly zones specified in Para 13.1 of the CAR Section 3, Series X, Part I without the approval of concerned Ministries/ authorities.
- The BCCI and Quidich shall indemnify DGCA from any legal cases or any other issues arising due to these operations.
- This letter shall not override other restrictions I SOP on Remotely Piloted Aircraft System framed by other Government Agencies or any byelaws.
- In case of incident/accident during at any phase of the operations, the operator shall generate a report with full details to Air Safety Directorate of DGCA within 24 hours of such event.
- 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, BCCI shall ensure access to DGCA are provided to perform this function.
- In case of violation of provision specified in the above mentioned CAR and the conditions & limitations specified in this letter; the permission issued will become null and void and enforcement action as per Para 18 of the above mentioned CAR will be initiated.