Stringent regulations limit potential for drone development

By NUR HANANI AZMAN / Pic By TMR File

STRINGENT regulations that are imposed particularly in data gathering, surveillance, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things players, are stifling the small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) move into the drone industry.

SME Corp Malaysia chief cluster development officer Zaky Moh said regulations and the lack of finan- cing facilities are among the challenges that are faced by SMEs that are interested in the business.

“There are limitations in terms of operation. For example, Drones weighing more than 20kg cannot fly without permission. Currently, Indonesia has the best practice.

“We hope regulators can come out with the latest regulation that will ease local SMEs to embrace the technology,” he told reporters at the closing of Global Drone Conference & Hackathon 2020 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said SME Corp is currently developing special programmes for the drone and mobility sector that encompass financial leverage, capacity building and increased market access.

The conference had attracted 500 participants. As part of the event, the Drone Hackathon Challenge was also organised, attracting 31 participants.

Three teams were announced winners, receiving a total cash prize of RM6,000. The winners will also be guided for four months to develop their idea in building prototypes that could be commercialised.

The conference is a public-private partnership initiative that was aimed at empowering and suppor- ting the growth and development of local drone solution providers, as well as promoting a sustainable ecosystem to drive the drone industry in Malaysia.

The aerospace industry development programme implemented by SME Corp has identified air mobility as one of the subsectors under the aerospace industry to be developed.

To date, 15 local companies are actively involved in AI, sensors, digital imaging, data analytics and battery have been identified under the air mobility development programme.

The air mobility programme will emulate the success of the previous Aerospace Manufacturing Initiative module that would leapfrog SMEs into global players with tremendous revenue growth and international market penetration.

The conference also brought together more than 20 international industry experts and professionals from relevant fields to discuss and explore strategies and way forward for the efficient use of commercial drones in Malaysia and Asia.

The main focus of the conference was to share the advantages of utilising drone technology especially in agriculture, construction, energy and utilities, infrastructure, public safety and emergency services sectors, which will help to enhance productivity and efficiency of services, as well as cost savings.

ACiS Technology Sdn Bhd, Aerodyne Group, Aeronerve, Ata Plus, MATA Aerotech Sdn Bhd, Malvus Sense Sdn Bhd, Meraque, Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd, Poladrone, ReliaCraft Engineering Sdn Bhd, TNB Integrated Learning Solution Sdn Bhd were among the local exhibitors that joined other international names including Wannan Space and Elistair.