Govt Allows NTPC To Use Drones For Research And Inspection Of Thermal Power Projects

Govt Allows NTPC To Use Drones For Research And Inspection Of Thermal Power ProjectsNational Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) office at CGO Complex, New Delhi (Photo by Vivek Singh/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption to National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for the deployment of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) for carrying out research and inspection activities at its Thermal Power Plants, an official release said on Thursday (23 October).

The power plants include Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station and Gadarwara Super Thermal Power Plant in Madhya Pradesh, and Sipat Super Thermal Power Project in Chhattisgarh.

“NTPC will use the drones to carry out terrain mapping, stockpile volumetric analysis, aerial inspections and other applications at the three NTPC sites. This will provide NTPC excellent data with high accuracy at a fraction of the cost. This is in line with Government of India’s attempts to promote use of industrial drones in infrastructure, mining, agriculture and disaster relief etc.” said Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The conditional exemption is till 31 December 2020 or until the full operationalization of Digital Sky Platform, whichever is earlier, the release said.

The Digital Sky Platform is an online IT platform developed for handling drone unique identification number (UIN), Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) applications, permission to fly RPAs in India.