‘UAVs Alone Can Counter New-Age Security Threats’

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We spoke to Capt Vijay K Madan, Director, Ultimate Aviation Solutions Pvt Ltd to understand the various security challenges that organizations face in modern times, the role of UAVs in enhancing security and his views on the recent changes to policies related to UAVs, as envisaged by DGCA.

Capt Vijay K Madan, Director, Ultimate Aviation Solutions Pvt Ltd

Interviewed by Adeesh Sharma

 

What kind of security challenges do you foresee for large organizations in the near future?

In my view, crimes that are likely to impact large organizations would be the following, in descending order of severity:

1.       Cyber crimes and data loss

2.       Commercial espionage

3.       Conventional crimes

 

Organizations need to gear up accordingly to combat these threats.

 

What role can technologies such as UAVs play in enhancing security of an organization?

It is only technology which can counter the new age threats. Not only cyber crimes but also conventional crimes have gone high tech and need 'appropriate counter measures' which only technology can provide. UAVs provide an all weather, 24 hour aerial platform over land and water which can be mounted with security gadgets and sensors to counter security threats. It is a misnomer that UAVs are only electronic eyes; they are in fact a platform in the sky which can be mounted with equipment of choice by the user to monitor, jam or peep into domains which ground based equipment cannot. They can work in all environments including NBC and enhance the areas of interest and impact of their masters. They fill the gap between space (satellites) and ground based security apparatus.   

What are your views on the recent changes in policy related to UAVs as announced by DGCA?

CAR produced by DGCA is an eyewash, only to show progress and pacify the growing chorus by UAV operators and manufacturers who have been denied their use till now.  It is impractical and lacks common sense and direction.

CAR lays down regulations regarding Procedures, Hobby/ Recreational flying, Commercial flying, State Govt flying, Training, Maintenance and Manufacture. However, it needs clarity on Max AUW, Max altitude AGL the RPA can fly, Nano and micro RPAS utilization and Utilization of RPAS in Controlled and Uncontrolled airspace.  

Key observations on CAR:

  1. Emphasis on NPNT
  2. ‘Digital Sky’ platform not tested
  3. Obtaining UIN and UAOP
  4. CAR formulated without a dedicated ‘DGCA Integration Cell’
  5. No Draft CAR put up for comments

Key concerns:

  1. UAS being sold in Palika bazar and Gaffar market without any restrictions
  2. UAVs being advertised online for sale. Checkout www.muav.in & www.funaster.com
  3. Almost 20 industrial houses have licenses to manufacture UAS
  4. Operators and TV stations fly UAVs for covering elections and marriages
  5. Numerous tenders by State Govts and para-public forces on Govt of India’s e-tender site to procure UAVs
  6. UAS is finally mentioned in the ‘Aviation Policy’ issued by MoCA on 15 June 2016

Key concerns on Training aspects:

  1. DGCA has no say over RPA pilot training, testing or certification
  2. Salient points of Syllabus at Annex IX:
    • One class of ‘Air Regulations’
    • One class of ‘Principles of Flight’
    • One class of RT and ATC procedures
    • No recurrent training
  3. No minimum ‘Medical standards’
  4. No roster of pilots with DGCA
  5. No security clearance to fly an RPA
  6. No mention of pre-flight medical and health fitness
  7. Flying training aspects:
    • Minimum number of hours to fly
    • Skill test
    • Emergency handling and retrieval of RPA
  8. Acceptance of Training in other countries
  9. Acceptance of foreign RPL pilots to fly in India
  10. Criteria to become a RPA flying instructor