• Aug 30, 2018
Here is everything you need to know about India’s new drone policy- II

This Monday, 27th August, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced certain regulations for drones. We decided to break it down into simpler language for you.  

What are drones?


As mentioned in the draft of DGCA, Drones can be defined as “Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), autonomous aircraft and model aircraft are various sub-sets of unmanned aircraft. Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is an aircraft and its associated elements, which are operated with no pilot on board.” 

Ministry classified the drones into 5 categories according to their Maximum Take-off Weight. The 5 categories are:

  • Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams.
  • Micro: Greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg
  • Mini: Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.
  • Small: Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.
  • Large: Greater than 150 kg.

Drone operation- Rules and regulations


Who can operate?

  • Anyone who is over 18 years of age and has cleared the Class 10 examination with the knowledge of English.
  • The person should have undergone DGCA ground and practical training.

Permissions

  • In addition to permission from the police, drone operators will have to continue to take permission from ATC (Air Traffic Control), ADC (Air Defence Clearance), and FIC (Flight Information Centre). 
  • All the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs or Drones) will need a Unique Identification Number (UIN), Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) and need to adhere to other operational requirements.

Unique identification number (UIN)


  • DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation) will provide a Unique Identification Number to all the Civil Drones.
  • The applicant shall submit a duly filled application (through Digital Sky Platform), along with requisite documents and applicable fee to DGCA. The UIN shall be issued in 02 working days provided all the documents are complete. 

There are exceptions for: 

  • Nano drones operating below 50 feet (15m) in enclosed premises. 
  • Micro drones operating below 200 feet (60m) in uncontrolled airspace and enclosed premises. However, the operators will have to inform the local police. 
  • RPA owned and operated by NTRO, ARC, and Central Intelligence Agencies, but after intimating local police. 

Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP)


  • The DGCA has to issue the UAOP within seven working days provided all the documents are complete. This UAOP shall be valid for five years and not transferable. 

There are exceptions for: 

  • Nano drones operating below 50 feet (15m) in enclosed premises. 
  • Micro drones operating below 200 feet (60m) in uncontrolled airspace and enclosed premises. However, the operators will have to inform local police. 
  • RPA owned and operated by NTRO, ARC, and Central Intelligence Agencies, but after intimating local police.  

Dos and Don’ts


1. The government has divided the airspace into different zones. Here's what they indicate: 

  • Red Zone: Flying not permitted 
  • Yellow Zone: Controlled airspace — permission required before flying 
  • Green Zone: Uncontrolled airspace — automatic permission 

Some of the No Drone Zones that have been defined are

  • Within the distance of 5 km from the perimeter of airports at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad and within 3 km from the perimeter of any other airport.
  • Within 25km from international border which includes Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL).
  • It also cannot fly within a 5 km radius of the Vijay Chowk in Delhi, within 2 km from the perimeter of strategic locations/ vital installations notified by Ministry of Home Affairs and within 3 km from the radius of State Secretariat Complexes.

2. Drones can fly only in the daytime and within “Visual Line of Sight (VLOS)”. The DGCA has clarified that no remote pilot can operate more than one drone at any time.

3. There can’t be any human or animal payloads, or anything hazardous. Drones cannot, in any manner, cause danger to people or property, and insurance is mandatory to cover the third-party damage.

4. It also cannot be operated from a mobile platform such as a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft.

5. Eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are off-limits without prior permission.

6. It cannot fly beyond 500 m into the sea from the coastline and within 3 km from the perimeter of military installations.

Any Violations will be acted on under relevant sections of the IPC and the Aircraft Act 1934.


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