As days continue to pass by, we are constantly getting closer and closer to some huge scheduled events in the drone racing scene. ESPN is getting in on the excitement, as is Sky news in the UK, helping bring some serious recognition to the sport. Countries from all over the world are taking interest, including our wonderful friends in India.
The Indian Drone Racing League (IDRL) announced their intentions to host their very first drone racing competition in Gandhinagar in Gujarat on October 22-23. However, as is the case with all sorts of new technologies, there can be some issues as laws struggle to catch up with the ever-faster growing world. One of the major hurdles in India (though this happens in every country regardless) is figuring out the specific legalities when it comes to handling these incredibly fast machines.
“Currently, the legal system around drones, in general, is rife with a lot of confusion, with drones being permitted to fly on a case-by-case basis. There are more questions than answers at this point, primarily because of two things — the number of aviation and government bodies that are involved in the regulations, as well as the number of articles that are published that have varying takes on the position of the authorities,” says Karan Kamdar, whose company ‘1 Martian Way’ serves as a parent for the IDRL.
He continues, “IDRL’s mission is providing a safe, legal and controlled environment for using racing drones, and we are not even building drones that weigh more than 500 grams or last more than three minutes on a single charge. So, the nature of the sport itself is enough to appease the authorities, and we as a community are fully committed to working with the government and aviation bodies to make this a reality.”
Karan and other pilots from India hope the IDRL continues not only growing as a means to organize races, but also as a way to teach students different aspects of electronics and mechanics. “We set up IDRL to enable world-class drone-racing pilots to emerge from India, and to spread awareness about the educational aspect of building and programming drones. Students also get hands-on education in electronics, mechanics and concepts of aerospace engineering, all while helping each other and building a sense of character, discipline and love for something that can translate into a real career.”
Currently, there are over 60 pilots registered to participate in their first competition, and the thriving scene is showing no hesitation as it pushes new boundaries.