Bengaluru: The first set of production-linked incentives for drones would be announced by the government soon. Speaking at the CII International Conference and Exhibition on Advanced and Short Haul Air Mobility for All (ASHA) organized in association with the Ministry of Civil Aviation in Bengaluru, the Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said that the government is committed towards promoting the creation of airports, heliports, and water aerodromes.
The CII conference (ASHA) also focused on emerging air mobility, particularly drones and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) technology.
“The aviation sector’s transition to alternate means of transport will be driven by consumer demand,” said Rajiv Bansal. He recommended that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) establish pilot plants in different regions of the country to demonstrate the benefits of advanced and short haul air mobility, which will help to garner support from local governments and consumers. However, he also acknowledged the environmental clearance challenges facing seaports.
At the conference, industry leaders discussed the challenges facing the sector, including the need for harmonization among certifying agencies worldwide. They also emphasised the importance of keeping an open mind and working collaboratively with governments. Safety remains paramount, and the certification process must be simplified to build consumer confidence. Infrastructure challenges, particularly in congested areas like cities, were also noted, with limited or no unused lands available for advanced and short haul air mobility.
Suggesting the involvement of local governments in pushing through infrastructure challenges, Augustine Tai, Head of Business Development (APAC), Eve Air Mobility, emphasised the need for global standards to simplify the certification process.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation is set to commission a study soon to understand the e-VTOL better as it is the next big air-mobility space which needs to be focused on after drones.