By VIVEK PATTANAYAK in Bhubaneswar, December 6, 2021: Human-beings have always wondered how the birds fly. From mythology one knows how flying has captured the imagination of human race.

On International Civil Aviation Day, one should recall how flying has developed and what the future possibilities are. One big development took place when hot air balloon started carrying human beings in 1783 which sparked crossing of the English Channel by balloon. Incidentally, the French lady Elizabeth Thible was the first lady to fly balloon in 1784 untethered.

Napoleon finding the naval supremacy of Britain unbeatable thought of invading England with balloon carrying his troops. Although that idea only remained in his imagination balloon was actually used in the Franco-Prussian war to observe troop deployment of enemy.

In the 19th century dirigible came into being. Zeppelin, a dirigible, was a carrier of passengers in Europe before aircraft was invented by Write Brothers and even continued operation till 1937 when the Hindenburg accident took place in New Jersey. Zeppelin was used during the First World War.

Sikorsky father of rotary wing concept brought helicopter. From single engine to twin engine, then triple engine and finally four engines, from narrow body to wide body aircraft, from piston engine to turbine aircraft development took place. From sub-sonic age the aviators came to super-sonic age with Concorde. Now hypersonic aircraft is in the drawing board. Sub-orbital flights have started.

Use of fuel has undergone changes .From fossil fuel the aircraft has been using hybrid f fossil and biofuel. Ethanol is mixed with ATF. Solar energy has also propelled aircraft. It has circumnavigated the world few years ago. Renewable battery will be used as source of energy. Hydrogen will replace fossil fuel in next decade.

Under the Chicago Convention of 1944, pilotless aircraft was under restraint. With passage of time unmanned air vehicle (UAV) has come to into reality.

Way back in 2005 the subject was being discussed in ICAO .In 2011 a circular was issued. Now there is model regulation. ICAO has unequivocally stated that all the regulatory ICAO. Annexes will be applicable to UAV for safety and security. The  Government of India has framed the regulations on drones. They must in line with ICAO procedures for safety of air transport.

When I joined civil service in 1966 mode of communication was either magneto telephone or pigeon service. Today we are used to internet, Wi-Fi, email mobile telephone.

Interestingly on this little device one can do office work, make banking transactions, watch films. Who thought of zoom conference until pandemic arrived?


Land survey can be done by drones.Traffic congestion can be monitored by police. Medicines can be delivered at remote places. During natural disasters use of drone is multifarious. The identified components needed to manufacture drones can create many Start-ups opportunities in micro, small and medium sector.

Now is the time for government and promoting agencies to come forward to assist young engineers to be engaged as entrepreneurs.More technical seminars must be conducted in engineering colleges on drones. Investment is not large. There is tremendous possibility of Angel funding. Banks and financial institutions should assist new enterprises.

India is late and Odisha is even more behind vis-à-vis other States. Let us not lose any more time.

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Anita Sabat

Very well-written by tracing the scientific advancement & aptly commemorating the International Civil Aviation Day.
Many technological developments & improvements have been made over the years.
Drones can be employed for many beneficial purposes as enumerated.

Hope governments consciously use these for positive works & betterment of society.

Recently, I watched a video how deadly drones can be of used for warfare.
Reminded me of the Atomic power misuse during WW2.