ICMR gets aviation ministry nod to use drones for Covid-19 vaccine delivery
Permission has been granted to ICMR for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) vaccine delivery
In a move that could help in navigating difficult terrain and reach inaccessible areas, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will carry out experimental delivery of Covid-19 vaccines using drones in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, and Nagaland.
The country’s apex medical research agency has been granted conditional exemption from Drone Rules, 2021 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Permission has been granted to ICMR for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) vaccine delivery in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, and Nagaland up to a height of 3,000 meters using drones, said the civil aviation ministry on Monday.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) has also received drone use permission for research, development and testing of drones in its own premises.
The exemption shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the said airspace clearance. It shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of approval of the said airspace clearance or until further orders, whichever is earlier, the ministry said.
On Saturday, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia had launched a first-of-its kind ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project at Vikarabad in Telangana. Drugs and vaccines will be delivered using drones under this project.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had notified the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 on August 25. The objective, according to the ministry, is to usher in an era of supernormal growth while balancing safety and security considerations in drone operations.