The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been given the go-ahead to use drones to capture new angles of the 2021 Indian cricket season. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) granted the BCCI a conditional exemption.
The now-exempt drones will provide live aerial feeds of the cricket game and the surrounding environment to take the broadcast quality to the next level.
The drones are allowed to be in the air during games until December 31 or when the Digital Sky Platform becomes operational, whichever comes first. To ensure the drones are used safely, they must follow a long set of rules.
The BCCI must receive clearances from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs, the Indian Air Force, and the airport authority before each cricket match where the drones will be used. The drones must be flown only by certified pilots and regularly checked for airworthiness.
Shri Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, shared:
The drone ecosystem is evolving rapidly in our country. Its utilization is expanding from agriculture, mining, healthcare, and disaster management to sports and entertainment. The granting of this permission is in line with the objectives of the Government of India to promote the commercial use of drones in the country. The Drone Rules 2021 are in the final stages of discussion with the law ministry. We are hoping to receive the approvals by March 2021.
Essentially, the rules consist of ensuring the drone stays away from the public and only flies during the day or well-lit conditions. It also states that the fans’ safety and privacy must be ensured, so the drone can’t zoom in on people. The drone must also have a fire-resistant license plate number in case anything goes wrong.
You can view the full list of rules in place here. If any of them are broken, the exemption will become null and void, with the enforcement of any wrongdoing taking place.
Photo: Ajay Parthasarathy