Govt issues UAV flight procedure

Kathmandu, October 29

The government has developed the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Flight Procedure, 2015, in a bid to avert the threats posed by drones to internal security.

The procedure was developed after various foreign and Nepali citizens and organisations sought permission for UAV flights to assess the loss of lives and property after the devastating April 25 earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks in the disaster-hit districts.

The trend of using the UAVs for the purpose of carrying out studies, conducting surveys, taking photographs and collecting information is gradually on the rise in the post-disaster situation. Such UVAs are often used for military and entertainment purpose in various countries, apart from carrying out studies on agriculture, environment and geography.

“The procedure has been developed in a way that the use of UAV flight would not pose a security risk,” says the UAV procedure. The procedure has been introduced to govern the terms and conditions relating to operation of UAVs.

There are three types of UAVs -- automatic, programmable and remote controlled device to be operated through radio transmission. International Civil Aviation Organisation has imposed a ban on the use of automatic UAVs in all its member countries, including Nepal.

As per the procedure, one should obtain permission from the Ministry of Information and Communications for frequency and from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for individual drone flight. No one will be allowed to use drones in a manner to cause disturbance to the peace, security and privacy of persons.

“The person or individual applying for permission to use UAVs should submit their personal and drone details, area where it is to be flown, purpose of the flight and its duration.

No one will be permitted to use UAV, flying camera and drone within 1,000 metre aerial distance of security agencies and other sensitive areas,” says the procedure. Security agencies have been authorised to confiscate the UAVs flown in prhohibited areas and take action against their operators.

Two Chinese journalists were arrested for taking photographs in the restricted zone of Nepali Army Headquarters, Bhadrakali using a drone a couple of week ago. Both were handed over to the Embassy of China after investigation.