PM Imran approves establishment of Civil Drone Authority

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday approved the establishment of the Civil Drone Authority (CDA) for the purpose of putting in place an institutionalized mechanism to facilitate the development and regulation of the sector in Pakistan. 

The authority would be mandated to regulate and control unmanned aircraft systems in the country and would decide on matters related to licensing, import, manufacturing, examination and issuance of drone permits.

It would also develop standards for manufacturing, operations, training and research and development. Besides, it would further provide technical guidance to the industrial sector to facilitate domestic manufacturing.

The CDA would be empowered to impose fines and penalties, including cancellation of license and registration, besides initiation of legal proceedings under the prevailing civil and criminal laws.

Headed by secretary aviation division, the composition of authority includes senior-level representation from Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Ministry of Defence Production, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Science and Technology.

Read more: Aviation division drafts 'Unmanned Aircraft System' policy

It would also include a representative each from of the federating units including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).

Three eminent experts of the field would also be members of the authority. Its composition would serve to ensure seamless coordination among all stakeholders on matters relating to the smooth functioning of the authority.

PM Imran stated 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 would not only fill the existing vacuum due to the non-availability of law to regulate this important sector but would also be instrumental in the promotion and domestic production of this critical technology.

“Effective use of drone technology in various sectors will help in resource optimization and better service delivery,” the premier said.

The premier had directed that the process of legislation for the establishment of authority be completed on priority and the bill be introduced in the Parliament after its approval by the Cabinet.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)