Pakistan’s prime minister notes drone technology can aid in resource optimization of various areas, and improve service delivery
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday approved the establishment of a Civil Drone Authority to introduce an institutionalized mechanism for facilitating development and regulation of the burgeoning sector.
Chairing a meeting in Islamabad, he said that the new body would help in employing drone technology for commercial use; research and development; agriculture; and other peaceful purposes. The effective utilization of drone technology in various sectors would also help optimize resources, and improve service delivery, he said.
The authority, he added, could prove critical in promoting the domestic production of drones, adding that it would also fill an existing legislative vacuum that had prevented the regulation of this sector.
The prime minister directed authorities concerned to expedite legislation for establishing the Civil Drone Authority, adding that a bill in this regard should be approved by the cabinet before being placed before Parliament.
The Civil Drone Authority would have the mandate to regulate and control unmanned aircrafts in Pakistan, as well as deciding matters relating to licensing, import, manufacturing, examination and issuance of drone permits. It would also be tasked with developing standards for manufacturing, operations, training, and research and development. Additionally, it would provide technical guidance to the industrial sector to facilitate domestic manufacturing of drones.
The authority would be empowered to impose fines and penalties, including cancellation of license and registration, and initiation of legal proceedings under existing civil and criminal laws. It would he headed by the Aviation secretary, and would comprise representation from the Pakistan Air Force, Civil Aviation Authority, Defense Production, the Interior Ministry, and the Ministry of Science and Technology. It would also include representatives from each federating unit, including Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Three eminent experts of the field would also be inducted as members of the authority.