To improve the country’s security, the Indian government passed various rules to address the growing use of drone technology. Read this page to learn more about the legalities of drone flying.
The Indian government presented a proposal for a new set of drone laws in July 2021. These proposed legislation have since been adopted as India’s official drone regulations. The Drone Rules 2021 will take effect on August 25, 2021, and will replace the previous UAS Rules 2021. The UAS Rules were criticised for being too restrictive, making it difficult to become a drone pilot, manufacturer, or importer. Following the evaluation of the responses, a draught of the proposed drone laws was created.
These drone regulations are more flexible, based on trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive surveillance. From 25 to 6, the number of application forms has been reduced. In comparison to the previous regulations, there have been a number of new adjustments. Let’s take a closer look at India’s new drone restrictions.
What is a Drone?
Drones, also known as “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS),” are immensely beneficial in a variety of industries, including transportation, agriculture, defence, law enforcement, surveillance, and emergency response, to name a few.
Drones, which were originally designed for the military and aerospace industries, have made their way into the mainstream due to the increased safety and efficiency they provide. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) fly without a pilot and with varying degrees of autonomy. A drone’s autonomy can range from remotely piloted (where a human controls its movements) to sophisticated autonomy, where it calculates its moves using a system of sensors and LIDAR detectors.
The DGCA, the Indian organisation in charge of drone safety, has made a variety of data about flying for enjoyment or for employment available on the internet. The high points are listed below. Visit the above-mentioned page for further information.
Drones are classified in the same way, with the exception of the nano category, which has a few key differences. Drones were previously classed based on their mode of operation, then further categorised depending on their size and speed under the prior UAS Rules. Drones in India, on the other hand, are categorised as follows under the most recent drone regulations:
- Nano drone: Less than or equal to 250 grams;
- Micro drone: Greater than 250 gram and less than or equal to 2 kilograms;
- Small drone: Greater than 2 kilograms and less than or equal to 25 kilograms;
- Medium drone: Greater than 25 kilograms and less than or equal to 150 kilograms; and
- Large drone: Greater than 150 kilograms.
The removal of the speed (15 m/s) and altitude (15 m) restrictions from nano drones will give FPV and hobby drones more operational flexibility.
Registration of the Drone/RPA
All drone owners must register their drones in order to obtain a Unique Identification Number (UIN).
To avoid disruptions in commercial and air traffic operations, the gadget must be identified. However, some drones are exempt from this requirement, such as
- Nano category drones, which are permitted to fly up to 50 feet (15 metres) above ground level in uncontrolled airspace or enclosed areas for business or R&D purposes.
- UIN is not required for drones operated by NTRO (National Technical Research Organization), ARC (Aviation Research Centre), or Central Intelligence Agencies.
Go to the Digital Sky Platform and follow the procedures below to register your drone and obtain your device’s UIN.
- Step 1 – Click Get Started to begin the registration process.
- Step 2 – click the link > select over > select the category > select the appropriate sub-category and click on Register,if the user’s drone weighs more than 250 grams.
- Step 3: Selecting the Pilot’s, Operator’s, or Manufacturer’s Category, Fill out the form with appropriate credentials after clicking Register, and then click Finish. Create an account
- Step 4 – After registering, the user will receive an email notice. When the user clicks on the link in the email, the user will be taken to a profile of the drone type.
- Step 5 – Once you’ve chosen a profile, fill in the appropriate information > upload your training certificate (if applicable) > choose a drone type and submit it.
- Step 6 – After completing the Digital Sky registration process, the user must choose one of the following options to register the drone
- Step 7 – After that, the system will ask for the below information,
- Name, address and PAN card details
- Drone Type
- Serial number and Model Number
- OEM Certificate (certificate received from manufacturer)
- NPL Letter
- Name, address and nationality of the Manufacturer
- Maximum take-off weight and height
- Details of compatible payload
The user must pay Rs. 1000 to apply for a UIN through https://bharatkosh.gov.in/ after entering correct credentials. Additionally, you must upload a copy of your Bharat Kosh Payment Receipt to this Registration form.
Drone License in India
People who want to operate a drone need a permit from the DGCA, which is known as the UNMANNED AIRCRAFT OPERATOR PERMIT (UAOP). The following entities, on the other hand, do not require the UAOP:
- Nano drone- operating below 50 feet (15m) AGL in uncontrolled airspace.
- Micro drone- operating below 200 feet (60 m) AGL in uncontrolled airspace or enclosed premises for commercial/ R&D purpose.
- Drones operated by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies.
Certain documentation are required for drones that do not fall under the above-mentioned categories. They must also complete specific forms through the Digital Sky Portal in order to obtain a drone flying permission.
Documents Required for UIN
- At least two out of three valid identity documents, such as GSTIN, PAN card, Passport, Driving License, or Aadhar Card, are required.
- The mission and foundation of the flying activity.
- Drone/RPA specifications.
- The manufacturer’s UAS maintenance guidelines
- The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, must grant security clearance.
Requirements For Drone Operator
To protect the overall safety of people and property, CAR 1.0 defines some requirements for a drone operator/remote pilot.
- Every drone pilot must be at least 18 years old.
- The drone pilot should have completed at least class 10 in English.
- In addition, the drone operator must complete a ground training programme at any DGCA-approved Flying Training Organization (FTO).
Certification and Compliance
A number of new improvements may be found in the certification area. To begin, only drones with a QCI (Quality Council of India) certificate of airworthiness can be operated in India. If a drone passes all of the necessary certification standards, QCI has been named as the official certification agency responsible for granting an airworthiness certificate to manufacturers on the Digital Sky platform.
Because these are draught drone guidelines, the government has yet to establish a certification criteria. “These guidelines may stimulate the use of made-in-India technology, designs, components, and drones; and India’s regional navigation satellite system termed Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC),” according to the government.
No Permission – No Take-Off
NPNT, or ‘No Permission No Take-off,’ is a new concept that regulates the use and traffic of RPAs and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). DGCA India has issued this.
The drone operator must have a UAOP and the drone must have a UIN. Then, for each drone flight, install a smartphone app to obtain permission.
No drone (excluding Nano drones) will be allowed to fly without first submitting the following information to the DGCA:
- Intended flight envelope
- Total flight time
- User credentials
The RPA’s flight limits vary depending on the state and the conditions. Before flying the drone, the Digital Sky platform double-checks these constraints. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
- Drones are prohibited inside 5 kilometres of any domestic or private airport’s perimeter.
- As stated in the AIP, drones are prohibited in restricted and dangerous areas such as TRA and TSA.
- Drones are prohibited from flying within 25 kilometres of any international border, including the Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC), and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL).
- Drones are prohibited within a radius of 3 kilometres of the State Secretariat Complex in state capitals. In addition, the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change has designated over 100 eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries (MOEFCC).
- RPAs are not allowed to fly within a 5 km radius of places where security has been heightened, such as around Vijay Chowk in Delhi.
- It is also prohibited within 3 kilometres of military installations/areas when military activities/exercises are taking place.
- Drones aren’t allowed to fly more than 500 metres (horizontal) into the sea.
What is the penalty for non-conformity?
In India, the new maximum penalty for drone-related non-conformity is $1,000,000. Even again, this does not account for other regulations that may be broken while employing drones, which the government has yet to clarify.
Anyone who violates these rules runs the risk of having their UIN/UAOP suspended.
It will also be prosecuted under relevant IPC sections 287, 336, 337, and 338, as well as the Aircraft Act 194 and Aircraft Rules.
The government is constantly developing methods to prevent unregistered drones from flying.
In India, these drone restrictions will make flying, buying, manufacturing, and importing drones a breeze. For all licences and approvals, the government has kept Digital Sky as its focus point. It has emphasized the idea of self-certification with the fewest possible manual approvals. I hope this article has given you a better understanding of the necessity of drone flying rules and regulations, as well as how to obtain a Drone License in India. The legal usage of drones is a step in the right direction. I’m hoping that everyone will do so as soon as possible.