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DGCA issues draft guidelines for setting up schools for drone operators

With the Central government having allowed the use of remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA) or drones as they are popularly known for various purposes in the country, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued draft guidelines for setting up remote pilot training organisations (RPTO) for crew that would operate such flying machines.

Central and state governments, including their undertakings or autonomous bodies under their purview, government approved universities, DGCA-approved training organisations, and RPA manufacturers are eligible for setting up ROPTs.

According to the draft rules issued by DGCA this week, RPTOs will establish facilities appropriate to the size and scope of the operation and provide physical environment conducive to the learning. This should include adequate office space for operational and administrative staff, secure area for storage of training and personnel records, adequate and well-equipped class rooms with training aids like computers, projectors, monitors and multimedia.

It will also be mandatory for the organisations to have radio telephony training and testing facility. A library with adequate number of text books, e-books for ground subjects, regulations and remote flying techniques, DGCA circulars, aircraft manuals, civil aviation regulations and allied subjects is also required.

Facilities required for practical training have also been defined, which include flight operations and briefing rooms, suitable place for parking, mooring and maintaining RPAs, properly marked bays, tracks and take-off and landing areas.

RPTOs will also be required to prepare training manuals and have them approved by DGCA to ensure that it is consistent with regulations, manufacturer requirements and other technical, administrative and legal guidelines.

The organisations will also have to develop an effective information gathering, review as well as a distribution and revision control system to process information obtained from all sources relevant to the organisation such as DGCA, manufactures and equipment vendors.

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