The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has granted exemptions to 13 consortia to operate drones on an experimental basis, without the need for unique identification numbers and operator permits till 30 September 2020. The move paves the way for these consortia which include ones floated by budget airline SpiceJet, ShopX, Dunzo and drone maker Throttle Aerospace, to pilot the use of drones to transport goods, once approved. The pilots will be a part of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) experimental drone operations, for which it had floated an expression of interest in May 2019. Eleven out of the 13 consortia are awaiting final approvals from DGCA.
The domestic flight operations are likely to resume within a week, says Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The Civil Aviation Minister has also stated that as soon as the Centre gives its nod to resume domestic flights, the industry will be able to take off immediately
SpiceJet is operating 32 cargo flights today, using its freighter and passenger aircraft. In its continuous efforts to mitigate the shortage and supply disruption of essential supplies and medical equipment, SpiceJet has till date transported over 5817 tons of cargo on more than 796 flights since the nation-wide lockdown began. Of the 796 flights operated, 290 were international cargo flights
SpiceJet operated two freighter flights from Mumbai to Phnom Penh in Cambodia last week carrying around 25 tonnes of critical medical supplies. Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet said “We are happy to announce the commencement of our cargo operations to Cambodia. We operated two freighter flights carrying around 25 tons of medical supplies to Phnom Penh today”.
Lifeline Udan flights have been operated so far to ensure continuous supply of essential and medical supplies across the country. These flights were operated by Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force and private carriers. So far over 848 tonnes of cargo were transported by these flights. Aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights till date is over 4.73 lakh kilometre.
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