Government releases list of 23 drone startups as beneficiaries under PLI scheme

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has released the names of 12 drone manufacturers and 11 drone component producers as PLI beneficiaries in its latest move to boost the sector.
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The Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced the 23 indigenous companies that have been listed as beneficiaries of the government's first ever Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme aimed at the drone industry. This list includes 12 drone manufacturers and 11 drone component producers.

According to the Press Information Bureau (PIB), the provisional list of companies have been chosen based on their unaudited financial results for the last fiscal year.

“The provisional list of PLI beneficiaries has been prepared on the basis of the unaudited financial results for 2021-22 and other information. The shortlisted beneficiaries have crossed the eligibility criteria related to sales revenue and value addition in FY 2021-22,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement.

The criteria included an annual sales turnover of at least Rs 2 crore for drone producers, and at least Rs 50 lakh for drone component manufacturers. Additionally, the companies should have a value addition of over 40 percent of sales turnover.

The PLI scheme was first notified on September 30, 2021, and has earmarked Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years. It is the latest government policy to show support for the industry, following the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021; the publishing of Drone Airspace Map 2021, which opened nearly 90 percent of Indian airspace as a green zone for up to 400 feet; the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) policy framework, 2021; the Drone Certification Scheme 2022, which made it easier for drone manufacturers to obtain a type certificate; the Drone Import Policy, 2022, which banned import of foreign-made drones; and the Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022, which abolished the requirement of a drone pilot licence for drone operations.

The drone manufacturers chosen for the PLI scheme include Aarav Unmanned Systems Asteria Aerospace, and Throttle Aerospace Systems from Bengaluru, Karnataka; Dhaksha Unmanned Systems and Garuda Aerospace from Chennai, Tamil Nadu; EndureAir Systems and Raphe Mphibr from Noida, Uttar Pradesh; Ideaforge Technology, Mumbai, Maharashtra; IoTechWorld Avigation and Omnipresent Robot Technologies from Gurugram, Haryana; and Sagar Defence Engineering, Pune, Maharashtra.

The drone component producers chosen for the PLI scheme include Absolute Composites, Bengaluru, Karnataka; Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India, Hyderabad, Telangana; Adroitec Information Systems, New Delhi; Alpha Design Technologies, Bengaluru, Karnataka; Dynamake Engineering, Hyderabad, Telangana; Imaginarium Rapid, Mumbai, Maharashtra; SASMOS HET Technologies, Bengaluru, Karnataka; Servocontrols Aerospace India, Belagavi, Karnataka; Valdel Advanced Technologies, Bengaluru, Karnataka; ZMotion Autonomous Systems, Bengaluru, Karnataka; and Zuppa Geo Navigation Technologies, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Edited by Megha Reddy