Drone Regulations 1.0 in India

Drone Regulations 1.0 in India

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Did you know that Dominos deliver pizza via drones in the USA? Though it is still a developing rare phenomenon, flying drones was illegal in India until 2018. Drones aka Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are quite useful to get into places, which humans cannot, due to different health, environmental, or political restraints. An ungoverned usage of drones can lead to a breach of security, and prone to terrorist activities. Nevertheless, drones are significant in photography, recreational, and commercial purposes. India’s drone market is estimated at around 1 trillion.

So a policy maintaining a balance in commercial usage for the welfare of people, and their safety was necessary. The Drones Regulations regulating and balancing the usage of drones by citizens without undermining their security came into force on 1st December 2018. It legalized using drones, with certain regulations.

Highlights of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) everyone needs to know before buying or using a Drone :

  • Every drone needs legal permission for flying i.e, Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit(UAOP). Only drones weighing less than 250 grams (Nano Drones) do not need permission for flying.
  • Anyone flying a drone has to have a license, and then after purchasing a drone has to be registered under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, thereby obtaining a Unique Identification Number (UIN). This will help the government to have knowledge of any drone flying anywhere in India, or without any harm to security.
  • Drones cannot be flown above 400 meters of altitude.
  • Areas are categorized in red, yellow, and green. Drones cannot be flown in red zones, and require permission to fly in yellow zones and free for flying in green zones.
  • Drones are banned from flying for any purpose, in Vijay Chowk, in Delhi (Parliament area).
  • Drones for commercial purposes are now legal with some regulations. Drones for animals transport or human payload is not legal, unless specially allowed, as per Regulations 12.18 and 12.19

Digital Sky Platform

Digital Sky Platform is an online IT platform developed for handling UIN, UAOP applications, permission to fly Remotely Piloted Aircraft in India. It follows a unique NPNT or “no permission, no take-off ” policy. If permission for flying is denied, there’s a system of “no permission, no take-off ” which shall prevent it from flying.

As of March 2020, the government oversees around approximately 19000 drones flying in India.  Drone Regulations 2.0 is being drafted for relaxations and promoting India’s drone market and technological advances. It envisages • use of algorithms for flying, instead of former compulsion of a human remote pilot, • first of its kind, use of drone at night, attempting to set an example for the world, • use for transferring human organs, for facilitating fast, successful operations. Drone regulations 2.0 seeks to establish Drone Corridor for keeping commercial usage away from aircraft operations. There are rare substantial approaches for India to follow. Thus, Drones Regulations 2.0 envisions big aims for advancing this industry, but multiple challenges exist for us to thrive in this industry.

This blog is written by Dharna Prasad, Hindu College.

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