How Can Drones Come To Service During Crisis?

India got its own drone policy in place in December 2018, but the country has not yet picked pace in drone usage. The recent development in this space is that BVLOS- Beyond visual line of sight-experimental trials has got a nod from Ministry of Civil Aviation & DGCA.

Selected consortiums will be carrying out 100 hours of BVLOS trials on delivery of medicines and other packages in the first quarter of the financial year 2020. Alternative Global India (AGI) is the consulting firm associated with 4 such consortium out of which 1 has been selected so far, to anchor and manage the overall consortium.

But, at a time when laws concerning drones aren’t flexible enough, how are startups managing to stay ahead of the curve? Gairika Mitra tries to find out from Ankit Kumar, founder, Alternative Global. 

How do you think can drones be used for effective usage of inspection and surveying?

Drone is an uprising sector which provides immense opportunity.As of now, activities such as inspection and surveying that are within visual line of sight is permitted. The industry will upsurge with the BVLOS getting permitted, it will open up wide business opportunities from delivery to Advanced Air Mobility to wide-area surveying and inspection. The industry will see new applications emerging and delivery is going to be of key importance.

What’s the unique flavour that Alternative Global provides, especially in an industry that is in its nascent phase?

Drone is still in the nascent phases of growth in India, we as a company have been investing in technologies such as delivery, drone sandboxes etc. We have been a part of multiple consortiums with delivery companies to conduct trials on BVLOS in the coming months.
How does Alternative Global rely on tech? Could you give us an insight?
Our investee company is developing multi-copter and EVTOL drones with Detect & Avoid technology and UTM integration which will allow long-range flights in BVLOS conditions. We are also working on introducing new technologies of communication and soon will be working with telecom companies to run 4G trials with drones

Would you say that drone technology has been a boon amid such critical times? Is the reliance justified?

Drone for commercial usage with time is proving to be the boon and the scale can only be achieved when people rely on technology. Think of a future where touch-less and human-free delivery of food/medicine/packages takes place within 5 minutes of placing an order. There are areas where logistical reach through road/rail is very limited and in cases of emergency, people suffer because of the unavailability of medicines/blood packets etc. Reliance on such technology is very important. 

What can we expect from Alternative Global next?

Our focus remains on conducting multiple BVLOS trials and creating sandboxes with state governments allowing training & testing facilities for startups. As a long term milestone, we are working towards making commercial deliveries starting from medical packages.

How can we have more people making innovations in the drone space?

Drone/UAV industry will take its own time to mature and the wannapreneurs in this segment should focus on the niche and develop expertise in the segment. Don’t rush for investments as the Industry is very new for investors too. Better planning, execution and optimised resource deployment is the key to success.
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