The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), on Thursday, notified the rules for the drone industry. The ministry, under whose ambit the regulation falls, came out with the rules after incorporating final changes to them.
The new Drone Rules 2021, announced in July this year, will replace the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules 2021.
The Drone Rules 2021 make it significantly easier for people and companies in the country to now own and operate drones since under the new drone policy, no security clearance is required before registration of license issuance.
Drone Rules 2021:
- Under the new rules, bring drones with payload capacity of up to 500kg under its fold. The new Rules therefore include heavy payload drones, and as the new Rules specifically mention, ‘drone taxis’.
- No security clearance is required before any registration or license issuance for drones. The requisite fees for permissions have also been reduced to nominal levels.
- Several approvals have been abolished, including the unique authorisation number, the unique prototype identification number, the certificate of conformance, the certificate of maintenance, the operator permits, the authorisation of the R&D organisation, and remote pilot instructor authorisation, among others.
- Under the new national drone policy, the maximum penalty for violation of any of the new Drone Rules 2021 has been capped at Rs 1 lakh.
- A Unmanned Aircraft Systems Promotion Council is to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime, according to the new drone policy.
- The import of drones will be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Drone corridors will also be developed for cargo deliveries, the new rules dictate.
- Interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones will be displayed on the digital sky platform. Yellow zone reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter
- No permission is required for operating a drone in the green zone and up to 200 feet in the area between 8km-12km from the airport perimeter.
- Online registration of all drones to happen through digital sky platform, with an easy process prescribed for the transfer and deregistration of drones.
- The new drone policy aims to provide for the regularisation of the existing drones in India. All drone training and examination will be carried out by an authorised drone school. The DGCA shall prescribe training requirements, oversee drone schools, and provide pilot licenses online.
- Safety features like ‘No permission – no take-off (NPNT)’ real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing, and the like shall be notified in the future, the policy notes. A minimum six-month lead time will be provided for compliance.
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The government in introducing these new rules said that the drone sector can offer tremendous benefits to sectors including agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence and law enforcement.
It added that the industry has significant potential to boost employment and create economic growth, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas, while saying that India has the potential to become a global drone hub by 2030.
(With inputs from ANI)