Bengaluru-based drone developer Aarav Unmanned Systems' unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Insight has become the first small category drone to be certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) under the No Permission-No Takeoff (NPNT) platform.
Insight also conforms with rules laid down in DGCA's civil aviation requirement (CAR) for drone operations in India, an official statement from Aarav said.
Small category drones are those that weigh between two and 25 kilograms. Drones of this category can carry heavier payloads and come equipped with more advanced sensors.
NPNT is a government-run software programme that enables drone operators to apply for permissions before operating in India, as per information on the DGCA portal.
The NPNT certification allows developers to operate drones in the Indian airspace.
"Our NPNT implementation is of premium level with some advance capabilities which we will be announcing soon. We are very optimistic about achieving at least 400% year-on-year growth and to help larger number of enterprises adopt compliant drone operations for their different business functions," said Vipul Singh, chief executive officer, Aarav Unmanned Systems.
Aarav was founded in 2013 by IIT-Kanpur alumni Nikhil Upadhye and Suhas Banshiwala, Amity University graduate Vipul Singh and IIT-Bombay alumnus Yeshwanth Reddy.
The startup was incubated at the SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) Innovation and Incubation Center.
The certification marks another step towards consolidation for the drone startup which originated from IIT-Kanpur.
Last March, the startup had raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round from a clutch of investors including early-stage investment firm GrowX Ventures, accelerator and venture fund 500 Startups and wealth management platform Bellwether Advisors.
In 2016, Aarav secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding from early-stage venture fund StartupXseed, asset management company The Phoenix Fund and former Infosys director T. V. Mohandas Pai-backed venture fund 3one4 Capital.