AirIndia Express Co-Pilot's life & others lost probably to a failed emergency response plan

  The crash of the Boeing 777 on July 6th 2013, at San Francisco killed two and injured more than 180. The first police and fire personnel arrived at the crash scene in about two minutes, and local officials said brave rescue efforts and effective triage of the many wounded likely saved lives.  A stark contrast was the Air India Express IX1344 accident at Calicut airport where the aircraft plunged 35 meters killing 21 people including the pilots. The victims were transported to various hospitals in ambulances and private vehicles. While ambulances are equipped with life saving medical equipment, the Co-Pilot was rushed to a hospital 25km away an hours drive on the backseat of a private car thereby depriving him of the critical life saving equipment. While it was a helping gesture but who ever decided this inhumane treatment to the co-pilot did contribute to the sad demise of the young pilot. The airport emergency response plan which is mandatory and is rehearsed periodically failed mis

Privacy laws missing, there is a need to regulate the Drones hovering overhead


The Civil Aviation Ministry has vowed to keep up with the developments in the unmanned air systems or drones but unfortunately suffers from myopic vision. The projects are driven not for public welfare but to foster business or personal interests of a few. 

Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2017
In the name of creating a roadmap, a cut ,copy ,paste document has been put out in the public domain for comments. The National Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)Traffic Management Policy has been released by the Civil Aviation Ministry. 

Public participation
The concept of public participation is missing in the document. The proposed role of the general public is limited to availability of data on a need to know basis to report a UAS not complying regulations or breaching their privacy.

Privacy rules
India does not have explicit rules governing personal privacy. Personal data is protected through indirect safeguards developed by the courts under common law, principles of equity and the law of breach of confidence. In a landmark judgment delivered in August 2017 (Justice K.S Puttaswami & another Vs. Union of India), the Supreme Court of India has recognised the right to privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution as a part of the right to “life” and “personal liberty”. 
Fundamental rights are enforceable only against the state and instrumentalities of the state and the Supreme Court in the same judgment recognised that enforcing the right to privacy against private entities may require legislative intervention.

USA Drone Privacy Law
This bill amends the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to direct the Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish procedures to ensure that the integration of unmanned aircraft (drone) systems into the national airspace system is done in compliance with privacy principles. Such procedures shall not apply to a drone system operated for news-gathering activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
DOT may not approve, issue, or award any certificate, license, or other grant of authority to operate a drone system in the national airspace system unless the pertinent application includes a data collection statement that provides reasonable assurance that the applicant will operate the drone in accordance with privacy principles. The same requirement shall apply to any drone system to be operated by a law enforcement agency, except that the application shall include a data minimization statement, instead of a data collection statement, that provides the same assurance.

Privacy remains the critical component that will govern the use of UAS aka drones in India airspace, be it over populated areas or otherwise. There is a need to implement safety and privacy laws prior to giving in to the pressures from lobbies who have business interests first.


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