NTPC to use drones for research and inspection

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption to National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for the deployment of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) for carrying out research and inspection activities.

Research and inspection activities using drones will be carried out at Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station, Madhya Pradesh; Gadarwara Super Thermal Power Plant, Madhya Pradesh; and Sipat Super Thermal Power Project, Chhattisgarh.

Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “NTPC will use the drones to carry out terrain mapping, stockpile volumetric analysis, aerial inspections and other applications at the three NTPC sites. This will provide NTPC excellent data with high accuracy at a fraction of the cost. This is in line with Government of India’s attempts to promote use of industrial drones in infrastructure, mining, agriculture and disaster relief etc.”

The conditional exemption is till 31st December 2020 or until the full operationalization of Digital Sky Platform, whichever is earlier. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) shall only operate the RPAS which has been voluntarily disclosed to Government of India and issued with a valid Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN) for NETRA PRO of ldeaForge Technology.

RPAS shall not be operated in the vicinity of the airport as per the provisions of the CAR. If operated near the airport, approval from Airports Authority of India (AAI) shall be taken in advance regarding time and area of operations of RPAS.

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) shall ensure that only trained and experienced bonafide personnel operate the RPAS. This letter shall not override other restrictions SOP on Remotely Piloted Aircraft System framed by other government agencies.

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