Mumbai's pizza-delivering drone comes under cop radar

May 23, 2014, 07:58 IST | Agencies

Mumbai police have sought an explanation from the eatery as to why it did not inform the cops about the drone experiment

The use of unmanned drone by a city-based pizza shop for delivery has come under the scanner of the Mumbai police, which will seek an explanation from the outlet as to why it did not inform them before carrying out the experiment.

Also read: Mumbai eatery sends a drone to deliver pizza!

IN TROUBLE: A four-rotor drone that took off from a pizza shop in Lower Parel
IN TROUBLE: A four-rotor drone that took off from a pizza shop in Lower Parel 

Police will also ask Air Traffic Controller whether Francesco’s Pizzeria outlet had any correspondence with them.

When contacted, an ATC official said he did not know whether the outlet had sought permission from them. The official, however, categorically stated, “As per norms, permission must be taken for flying any such object.”

“We are very sensitive towards anything that flies in the sky with the help of a remote control. We will certainly ask the outlet’s administration why it did not inform us before carrying out this experiment. We will also seek full details pertaining to the drone test,” said Madhukar Pandey, Additional Police Commissioner (Central Region) in whose jurisdiction the drone was flown.

“We will also ask the ATC if it was consulted by the outlet. After studying all the aspects, we will decide the future course of action,” Pandey said.

Terror threat
According to sources, a terror threat has been lingering over the city and inputs available with police suggest that terror organisations might strike using paragliding and unmanned drones.

During special occasions such as Independence Day and Republic Day, certain city areas are declared as ‘no flying zones’ by Mumbai Police.

In these areas, paragliding and use of remote-controlled micro-light aircraft is also not allowed.

Drone delivery
On May 11, the financial capital, notorious for its traffic snarls, achieved a first in the country after Francesco’s Pizzeria used an unmanned drone to execute a delivery by taking the aerial route. The unmanned drone successfully delivered a pizza to a customer 1.5 km away. Francesco’s Pizzeria chief executive Mikhel Rajani yesterday stressed that this was only a test-flight but its results confirm that it can be used routinely in a few years. A four-rotor drone took off with the order from its outlet in Lower Parel area and delivered it to a high-rise building in the adjacent Worli area.

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