REVISITING THE CURRENT UAV REGULATIONS IN NEPAL: A STEP TOWARDS LEGAL DIMENSION FOR UAVS EFFICIENT APPLICATION
UAVs-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles- also known as drones, are an emerging geospatial technology that can facilitate data acquisition at various temporal and spatial scales. Notwithstanding, the wide application of UAVs globally, its wider application is found to be growing in Nepal as well. For instance, precision agriculture, forestry, topographical surveying, etc. It seems that there is a correlation between efficient use of UAVs in these sectors and the legal frameworks that regulate the use of UAVs. Therefore, it seems necessary to obtain holistic national view of UAVs regulations. Aligning with this necessity, this paper provides insight on existing legal provisions for UAVs in Nepal by highlighting the importance, impact, and limitations of UAV regulations. The criteria used in the framework to capture the present holistic legal dimension from literature in the web of science database are a) applicability b) technical requirements c) operational requirements/ limitations d) administration procedure e) human resource requirements and f) implementation of ethical constraints. The adopted methodological approach consists of exploratory case studies, systematic reviews of the concerned literature on UAVs regulations and the workshop on “Flight 4 Purpose” in which various UAVs application were discussed. The results show that the existing legal framework has both strengths and weaknesses for its use to capture the spatial data. The way forward is to harmonize the soft and hard regulations so that such geospatial technology can be applied for overall development and ultimately for the societal benefits.