NEW DELHI: Drones flying to an altitude of up to 3 km could soon be delivering vaccines in remote areas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, and Nagaland.
Aviation authorities have allowed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and IIT-Bombay to conduct beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) trials for vaccine deliveries in these areas where accessibility is a challenge.
The permitted maximum altitude of 3,000 metres for civilian drone usage is among the highest so far. The permission for three more places by the DGCA and Union aviation ministry comes two days after the first trial in India to deliver vaccines by drones started in Telangana last Saturday.
India last month notified a new set of liberal drone rules that could pave the way for these unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) soon carrying both goods for e-commerce and transporting people on air taxis.
The new rules increase maximum payload for drones from 300 kg to 500 kg, paving the way for drone taxis in coming years.