Drone startup, Quidich on Friday announced the successful completion of India’s First No-Permission No-Takeoff (NPNT) compliant drone flight on the A200 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). The flight was carried out near Tumkur in Karnataka, which marks a critical breakthrough in online testing and permission systems. 

Neil Gokhale, COO, Quidich Innovation Labs said, “We greatly appreciate the efforts of the entire team at the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the DGCA. The tireless efforts made by the Honourable Minister of Civil Aviation - Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Secretary, Civil Aviation, Shri P.S. Kharola, Joint Secretary, Shri Amber Dubey and their team who have made this possible".

He further said, "A special thanks to the efforts of the DGCA led by Shri. Arun Kumar for hand holding us through the entire process, Officials from the Airport Authority of India and to m/s Happiest Minds for building the Digital Sky portal.” 

The use of Civil Unmanned Aerial Vehicles has been highly regulated in India until recently by The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The DGCA had issued a blanket ban on the civilian use of UAVs in 2014. 

In the following years, after it became evident that UAVs offered significant advantages across diverse industry use-cases, ranging from Security and Surveillance applications to Logistics and Aerial Cinematography, MoCA & DGCA released a comprehensive policy on the use of UAVs, which came into effect from December 1, 2018.

According to the new policy, only UAVs which complied to stringent manufacturing standards laid down by the government could be used. Not only that the UAV’s had to be compliant with the newly formulated NPNT architecture but a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP), along with Online permission artifacts (OPA) for every flight, were also made mandatory. 

Quidich Innovation Labs and Asteria Aerospace collaborated with a vision of completing India’s first NPNT compliant flight, enabled through the Digital Sky platform. 

Quidich, in collaboration with the Drone Federation of India, has extended its services to police departments across several states, providing drones for crowd monitoring and surveillance operations as a small contribution towards battling the worldwide pandemic.