Open Oral Presentation


Day & Date: Thursday, 4th Apr 2024
Time: 11:30 AM
Venue: Online MS teams link:

Tremendous growth has occurred in drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) usage in the military and civilian sector over the past several years, and this burgeoning industry brings tremendous potential economic and social benefits, and as the global trailblazer in aviation innovation, the regulatory bodies across the world are incrementally integrating the drones to civil airspace. full integration is constrained by the lack of drone ecosystem policy and regulatory framework. This has prompted researchers to study and craft a framework for the integration of drones into civil airspace.

Of late, the focus of researchers has been increasingly in a high demystifying the factors driving the integration of drones especially for commercial usage which would give employment generation and other economical and social benefits. Researchers have identified that socio-technological factors and aviation recommended practices such as safety, security, airworthiness certification, and air traffic management structural framework influence the drone ecosystem policy and regulatory framework, these factors have not been adequately validated considering a suitable regulatory framework involving all the stakeholders’ responses and empirical study.

Comprehensive assessment of literature indicates that there is a dearth of empirical studies on the integration of drones for commercial usage in civil airspace, particularly in the context of India. There is a lack of empirical studies which have holistically examined the factors influencing the integration of drones for commercial usage. Therefore, to fill these regulatory framework gaps we have devised a conceptual framework linking social acceptance factors, airspace recommended practices factors, and economic factors through regulations mediating factors for integration of drones for commercial usage in civil airspace. The specific research objectives of this study are:

a)To develop a conceptual framework, b).To ascertain the societal factors that influence the UAV/drone market projection, c).To ascertain the airspace recommended practices factors that influence the UAV/drone Market projection d).To derive the drone ecosystem policy & regulations guidelines and recommendations by validating empirically the conceptual framework/model.

We confined our study to technology-intensive organization respondents such as engineers, technologists, and scientists’ opinions to validate the conceptual framework and crafting of drone ecosystem regulatory framework roadmap for operationalization of drones in the commercial sector. We collected primary data through structured questionnaires or indicators on each of the latent variables, constructed a path model, and analyzed the data using second-generation statistical software PLS-SEM package.

To begin with, 13 latent variables, 95 indicators or items were developed to validate the framework using 351 responses primary data. The path model was constructed establishing the relationship with independent and dependent variables after imputing the primary data to the software. Societal factors and aviation recommended practices are independent variables, drone commercial market projection is the dependent variable, regulations are mediating variables. Path models with latent variables display the hypotheses and variable relationships that are examined.

Validation of framework was carried out using primary data, after running the model, the robustness check was (CTA-PLS) carried out on measurement model, secondly, robustness checks (non-linearity, endogeneity, and heterogeneity) on the structural model was carried out using PLS-SEM software package. Hypotheses testing has been carried out to confirm the influence of societal factors and airspace recommended practices on drone commercial market projection through regulation mediating factors. The results reveal that the societal factors and recommended practices are having a dominant influence on the commercial usage of drones in the civil market. Finally based on results and findings, we derived and crafted the drone eco-policy and regulation guidelines and recommendations as an input for the safe integration of drones into civil airspace.