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Scandron Targets Commercial & Defence Sectors After Receiving DGCA Logistics Drone Certificate

The company is looking to revolutionise logistics services across long distances by making effective and time-sensitive deliveries between various business hubs of courier service providers.

Scandron Targets Commercial & Defence Sectors After Receiving DGCA Logistics Drone Certificate
Arjun Naik, CEO of Scandron, Joseph Thumma CEO of Magellanic Cloud and Sujoy Guha CEO, CriticaLog

Prathik Desai

POSTED ON February 20, 2024 2:09 PM

Bengaluru-based drone-maker Scandron Pvt Ltd is looking to address the logistics gap in commercial and defence segments using its drone solutions after it became the first Indian company on Monday to receive a Type Certificate for its logistics drone – CargoMax 500HE – from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).  

The drone maker recently entered a strategic partnership with CriticaLog India – a critical logistics service provider, through which it looks to offer B2B logistics services between its various hubs in 160 Indian cities over the next two years. The company has already conducted high-altitude tests in the defence segment and is in talks to announce a partnership soon.  

The company is also in talks with leading logistics and delivery service provider Shree Maruti Courier Pvt Ltd, the company founder and Chief Executive Officer Arjun Naik told Outlook Start-up.  

While retail e-commerce and food deliveries are being done by drones in some parts of the world, the same doesn’t make economic sense in India, Naik added. The company will focus on making B2B deliveries between the hubs of courier service providers efficient and time-saving.  

The certificate from DGCA will allow the drone maker to enable safe and reliable deliveries in the logistics sector and service up to a distance of 20 kilometres in each flight.    

In a city like Bengaluru, a delivery between a business hub near the airport and another one in Indiranagar could be accomplished within minutes and help save time and cost for a logistics player, Naik told Outlook Start-up. While the drones will be self-piloted using the onboard control unit, the company will also allocate a safety pilot to monitor all its drone flights.  

“We stand at the forefront of a new era in aerial logistics, and this achievement reinforces our commitment to responsible and innovative drone solutions,” Naik said in a press note.  

For its logistic drone project, Scandron’s parent entity Magellanic Cloud invested to the tune of Rs 30 crore. Magellanic Cloud, a public-listed entity that works in the digital space including e-security and surveillance, acquired 70 per cent shares of Scandron in 2022-23 to grow and expand into logistics drones.  

Earning the certification is a time-consuming affair since it requires the drone manufacturer to do multiple intensive tests over a long period.  

As per the new regulations around flying drones in the country, regulator DGCA does not permit anyone other than a holder of a valid remote pilot certificate on the digital platform to operate an unmanned aircraft system in India. Currently, no commercial deliveries can be made in India using drones without receiving a licence from DGCA, unless the drone operators have received permission to do the deliveries in the research and development phase.  

Scandron recently launched its Drone Operations Command and Control Centre in Bengaluru. It manufactures all these drones in its Whitefield plant in the city. 

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