Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the establishment of the Civil Drone Authority for the purpose of putting in place an institutionalized mechanism to facilitate development and regulation of the sector. The Authority will be mandated to regulate and control unmanned aircraft system in the country and will decide matters relating to licensing, import, manufacturing, examination and the issuance of drone permits.
The Authority will also develop standards for manufacturing, operations, training and research and development. Along with this, it will also provide technical guidance to the industrial sector to facilitate domestic manufacturing. The Authority will also be empowered to impose fines and penalties, including the cancellation of license and registration, in addition to the initiation of legal proceedings under the prevailing civil and criminal laws.
Headed by the Secretary of the Aviation Division, the composition of authority includes senior level representation from PAF, Civil Aviation, Defence Production, Interior and Ministry of Science and Technology. It also includes representatives from each of the federating units including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Three eminent experts of the field will also be members of the authority. The composition of authority will serve to ensure seamless coordination among all stakeholders on matters relating to the smooth functioning of authority.
Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that employing drone technology for commercial, research and development, agricultural and other peaceful purposes was the ‘need of the hour’.
He observed that the establishment of drone authority will not only fill the existing vacuum owing to the non-availability of law, but will also be instrumental in promotion and domestic production of this technology. He further stated that the effective use of drone technology in various sectors will help in resource optimization and better service delivery.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed that the process of legislation for the establishment of the authority should be completed on priority and the bill is to be introduced in the Parliament following its approval by the Cabinet.