Drones in India: BVLOS Drone Delivery for Food and Medicine

The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has just taken a major step forward to promote drones in India. Just a year after India announced that they would allow experimental drone flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), two consortia, both led by ANRA technologies, have been granted exemptions to operate drones BVLOS. ANRA Technologies, the only company to receive approvals for both its consortia, will focus on delivery of medical supplies including blood and medicines – and in a partnership with Swiggy, one of India's largest food delivery platforms, contactless delivery of food.

The ANRA-led consortium includes Swiggy; renowned Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar; and BetterDrones, an Indian drone service provider providing a network of trained pilots.

These BVLOS operations are likely to begin the middle of July, subject to easing of COVID-19 restrictions. "India is looking at the operations as a way of fast tracking its policy and preparing the local industry for a major push into the drone services segment globally," says ANRA.

"ANRA is honored to lead two consortia for BVLOS experimentation with partners that have commercial and humanitarian use cases to advance drone operations for India", said Amit Ganjoo, CEO at ANRA Technologies.

ANRA is a domain expert supporting the development of India's nationwide operational UAS Traffic Management (UTM) platform, Digital Sky. The BVLOS operations covered by the exemptions will be enabled by ANRA SmartSkiesTM CTR as well as SmartSkies™ Delivery platforms. SmartSkiesTM provides execution and management of drone operations in controlled and uncontrolled airspace, ensuring the safety of the National Airspace and seamless integration into the legacy ATC systems.

SmartSkies also provides an innovative feature for secure two-way text communication between drone pilots and airport towers. Only authorized tower personnel will be able to communicate with drone pilots using SmartSkies™ technology, helping to improve coordination during emergencies.

With long-range, BVLOS drone delivery on the near horizon, drones in India may finally take flight as the growing tech economy in the country warrants.

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