Centre permits BCCI to use drones for live aerial filming of matches
The permission granted to BCCI is in line with the objective of the Indian government to promote the commercial use of drones in India.
The Civil Aviation Ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation- DGCA have given a conditional exemption to the Board of Control for Cricket in India- BCCI for the deployment of drones for the live aerial cinematography of the Cricket season in India in 2021.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier received requests from M/s Quidich and BCCI pertaining to grant the permission to use the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems- RPAS for live aerial filming.
The conditional exemption by the government will be valid only till December 31, 2021, from the date of the issue of the letter or until the complete operationalization of Digital Sky Platform (Phase-1), whichever is earlier.
The exemption will be valid only if limitations and conditions as prescribed by the government are strictly adhered to. In case of violation, the exemption will become null and void.
Promoting commercial use of drones in India:
According to Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Civil Aviation Ministry, the drone ecosystem has been evolving rapidly in India. Its utilization is expanding from mining, agriculture, disaster management, and healthcare to entertainment and sports.
He added that the granting of this permission is in line with the objective of the Indian government to promote the commercial use of drones in India. He further informed that the Drone Rules 2021 are in the final stages of discussion with the Ministry of Law and the approvals are hoped to be received by March 2021.
Some of the Condition and Limitations to BCCI and M/s Quidich for using Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS):
• The BCCI will require 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 before the operation of RPAS.
• M/s Quidich engaged by BCCI as RPAS operator will only be able to operate the RPAS models that are specified in the approved standard operating procedures (SOP) dated January 8, 2021.
• The operations of RPAS with a valid Drone Acknowledgement Number (as specified in SOP) will be operated as per the SOP in the area specified therein.
• Any form of change in the approved SOP for example change in RPAS or procedures or personnel or use case or area specified in the approved SOP will be included in the SOP and will be submitted to DGCA for approval.
• The BCCI will need to take the necessary permission regarding the aerial photography from DGCA, Directorate of Regulations and Information, or Ministry of Defence.
• The video graphs/photographs, taken through RPAS will be used by BCCI only. The cricket controlling body will be responsible for the security and safety of RPAS and the data collected through it.