A drone attack on the Jammu air base could have been avoided but for the government ignoring warnings of the top officials of the Armed Forces and the Home Ministry in further opening up the skies under the Unmanned Aircraft System Rules that came into force on March 12.
n The warnings came just days before Sunday’s drone attack in a meeting last week, pointing out that the low-flying drones are very risky since they cannot be located by the radar system.
n They were objecting to new rules allowing flying of drones under certain conditions. The rules allow 34 green zones the drones can be permitted after intimation about the time and location.
n Yellow zones require permission to operate drones while the red zones are no go areas. The use of drones for civilian and commercial use across the country is under discussion as part of the policy to regulate small drones, their ownership and permission to operate.
n An official said its officials pressed for a buffer of 80 km for the drones to ensure they do not intrude into the spaces for the military, strategic or high-value targets. They wanted no permission around the airports since it may result in major accidents if the drones come in the flight path of any aircraft.
n The Armed Forces maintained that the country, or for that matter even the world, does not have any technology to detect and destroy drones and hence they pose a threat in areas as vast as India. Solutions could be applied only to close tactical areas, provided the manned surveillance and quick response teams were in place.
n Any relaxations for use of drones will always pose the threat since the rules may be enforced on those registered in India but they are meaningless for the enemies, the Armed Forces underlined in a meeting last week.
The meet was held to discuss the new Indian Drone regulations, titled UAS Rules, 2021 that require the operators to adhere to a set of rules, including a student pilot licence, remote pilot licence and a permit for becoming an unmanned aircraft operator. They have to follow the “No Permission, No take-off”, a software that enables every remotely piloted aircraft to obtain a valid permission through ‘DigitalSky’ platform before operating in India.