October 30, 2020, 2:36 pm

Abu Taher Bappa

2020-09-15 02:21:15 BdST

State, military, recreational drones require no permission to fly

Flying drones for state, military and recreational purposes would not require prior permission as the cabinet on Monday approved a draft policy in this regard.

The cabinet approved the draft of Drone Registration and Aviation Policy 2020 during its regular weekly meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The premier joined the virtual meeting from Ganabhaban while her cabinet colleagues were connected from the Bangladesh Secretariat in the capital.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said the draft of guideline was prepared after seven to eight months consultation with the concerned people and experts.

The proposed guideline has divided use of drones into four categories, according to the cabinet secretary.

‘Class A’ drones are for recreational use and must weigh below five kilograms. ‘Class B’ drones are for non-commercial use, such as surveying large areas for personal studies and researches. ‘Class C’ drones are allowed for commercial use and may weigh above five kilograms. Drones used in state or military work are grouped as ‘Class D’ and require no permission.

The government’s top bureaucrat said flying drones for commercial purposes such as conducting a survey of any land and also non-commercial purposes such as conducting a survey for research or writing any book will require prior permission from the concerned authorities.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) will define the authority from which permission should be taken for flying drones.

“The locations are divided into green, yellow and red zones,” Islam said responding to questions on the flying restrictions.

“Red zones, such as airports and cantonments, are completely restricted areas. No one will be allowed to fly drones on the Padma Bridge. Flying drones inside KPIs [key point installations] is prohibited,” he said.

“Permission from the civil aviation authorities will not suffice for flying drones over the KPI areas. The authorisation of KPI authorities will also be necessary.”

Anwarul said that the cabinet also approved a draft of the Local Government (City Corporation) (Amendment) Act, 2020 keeping a provision of holding polls to any city corporation within three months instead of the existing six months before the expiry of its tenure.

It gave consent in principle to the draft of Bangladesh Biman Corporation (Repeal) Act, 2020 as Bangladesh Biman has been turned into a company in 2011 and is being run under the company law, he added.

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