India’s aviation industry regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), is sounding an alarm over increasing drone pilot training scams in the country. The agency says several “fake” schools have cropped up across the nation, falsely claiming to have been approved by the DGCA.
The Indian government has identified drones and their applications as a sunrise sector. The government expects the industry to invest around $655 million in drone manufacturing over the next three years and generate 10,000 direct jobs. To facilitate that, the government went as far as to ban the import of drones in all forms last month.
Meanwhile, on the services side, the government expects its domestic drone industry to grow to over $4 billion in the next three years and generate over 500,000 jobs. And this is a projection that is being exploited by a number of unapproved, fake drone training institutions to lure students.
Also read: FCC filings for two new DJI drones published
As DGCA chief Arun Kumar points out in a public notice issued Wednesday:
It has come to the notice of the DGCA through electronic, print media, and various other sources that numerous fake (unrecognized by DGCA) Remote Pilot Training Organization (RPTO) are offering Remote Pilot Training Program, claiming to be approved by DGCA to lure the candidates by misleading advertisement. Applicant and public at large are hereby informed to be careful about such self-styled, unrecognized institutions which are functioning in contravention of Drone Rules 2021.
In view of the above, all such organizations/persons are hereby warned that as per Rule 50 of Drone Rules 2021, an appropriate penalty shall be levied by DGCA, if found involved in such fake activity.
Further, it has come to notice that few NGOs, Federations, Trust, Associations, etc., are also giving misleading advertisements on their websites, claiming to be associated with DGCA/approved by DGCA and collecting membership fees from drone startups and companies in the drone Industry. The general public is hereby advised to be cautious about such demand as DGCA does not support such activity.
The list of drone training organizations approved by the DGCA can be found here. And if you come across a training school falsely claiming to be DGCA-approved, you can report it to DGCA Drone Directorate on this email: email@example.com.
Read more: ‘They were tomatoes’: Ukrainian woman who took down spy drone with a can