India will need approximately 100,000 drone pilots in the coming years as the sector is on the path of “exponential growth”, Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday, adding that the country has the potential of becoming a global drone hub by 2030.
“We are taking the drone sector forward on three wheels: policy, incentives and demand creation… Today, a drone pilot can be trained in 2-3 months. Close to one lakh (100,000) drone pilots will be needed in the years to come. The opportunity is tremendous,” Scindia said at the launch of NITI Aayog’s Experience Studio on Drone, an initiative to promote a collaborative ecosystem aimed at fostering innovation and adoption of drones for public services.
“It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim to make India the global drone hub by 2030. NITI Aayog and the (civil aviation) ministry are working towards this,” the minister said.
Elaborating on the three wheels to take forward the drone sector, Scindia said, “The first wheel is of policy. You have seen how fast we are implementing the policy.”
The second wheel is to create incentives, he said. “The PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme, which has been implemented under the leadership of PM Modi, will give a fresh boost to manufacturing and services in the drone sector,” Scindia added.
The PLI scheme was introduced in September last year as a follow-through of the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021, released by the ministry on August 25 last year.
The minister said the third wheel is to create indigenous demand and “12 central ministries — including agriculture, mining and rural — have tried to create the demand for the use of drones”.
The minister said that close to “15-20 drone schools have been certified across 12 states so far”.