The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India has been granted a special permission by Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the usage of drones to capture live television coverage of India's 2021 cricketing season at home. The drones will be deployed over the stadiums for the live aerial cinematography of the matches. The upcoming season of Indian Premier League is expected to be the first of such tournament where drones will be used for live aerial feed for the broadcaster.
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BCCI has received a conditional exemption, which will be valid till 31st December 2021, provided all the guidelines are strictly adhered to. Reflecting on the special permission given to BCCI, the joint secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Shri Amber Dubey said, “The granting of this permission is in line with the objectives of the Government of India to promote the commercial use of drones in the country.”
Utilisation of drone ecosystem is continuously expanding in India across industries: Amber Dubey
Shri Amber Dubey added, “The drone ecosystem is evolving rapidly in our country. Its utilization is expanding from agriculture, mining, healthcare and disaster management to sports and entertainment.” He also confirmed that the Drone Rules 2021 are in the final stages of discussion with the law ministry and they are hoping to receive the approvals by March 2021.
Although BCCI has been granted clearance, it would require a few extra allowances from the local administration, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Air Defence Clearance from Indian Air Force and Airport Authority of India before they can finally use the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).
Also, BCCI will require trained officials for operating the drones to avoid any kind of mishaps. There will be a list of safety norms as well which the BCCI will have to follow. Furthermore, the drones would be allowed to use up to 200 feet in broad daylight or a well-illuminated condition, in uncontrolled airspace. Notably, the photographs/videos taken through Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) shall be used solely by BCCI, the authority added.