The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday said that they have granted a conditional exemption to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the deployment of drones for live aerial cinematography of the Indian Cricket Season in the year 2021. The conditional exemption is valid till 31st December 2021.
The order by the ministry says that the BCCI will have to 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).
BCCI and Quidich have been given conditional exemption from various provisions of Aircraft Rules, 1937 for aerial filming of cricket matches in India till December 31, 2021, it noted.
“BCCI shall ensure that only trained 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.”
Even though this isn’t the first time that usage of drones would be witnessed in the cricketing field yet this time round strict pointers have been drawn by the ministry failing which the permission issued will become null and void and enforcement would also be initiated.
Some of the restrictions kept for drone operations
1) 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 up to the height of 200 ft (AGL) max only.
2) RPAS shall not be operated in the vicinity of the airport as per the provisions of the CAR. If required to operate near the airport/ in controlled airspace, approval from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) shall be taken in advance regarding the time and area of operations of RPAS.
3) BCCI shall ensure that no items are discharged or dropped during the flight of the RPAS. The BCCI shall also ensure that hazardous material or variable payloads are not carried in I using the RPA under any circumstances.
4) The operator shall ensure the RPAS is not flown in a manner to cause danger to any person or property.
5) 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.