National Traffic Management Policy Framework for Drones

National Traffic Management Policy Framework for Drones

Current Affairs for UPSC English

Context : Ministry of Civil Aviation has notified a National Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS or drones) Traffic Management (UTM) Policy Framework that will manage drone movement in the UTM airspace.

National Traffic Management Policy Framework for Drones

UTM Airspace is the airspace up to 1000 feet above ground level.

This framework will allow both public and private third-party service providers to manage the drones in lower airspace.

To handle the traffic from unmanned aircraft, UTM Service Providers (UTMSPs) will extend automated software services instead of voice communication as in traditional Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.

They will primarily be responsible for segregating and separating a drone from other drones and manned aircraft in the lower airspace.

All drones (except Nano drones operating in the green zone) shall mandatorily share their real-time location through the network to the Centre either directly or through third-party UTM service providers.

UTM service providers will be assisted by Supplementary Service Providers (SSPs).

SSPs will maintain data about terrain, weather, and location of manned aircraft and provide services such as insurance, data analytics and drone fleet management.

The policy requires UTM to be integrated with ATM so that flight plans & real-time location of manned aircraft can be recorded to continuously separate manned & unmanned aircraft from each other.

Law enforcement and security agencies will also have access to some information in the UTM ecosystem on a need-to-know basis.

The policy also allows UTMSPs to levy a service fee on users, a small portion of which will also be shared with the Airports Authority of India.

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