Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has finally released draft regulations on civil use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) in India. This will also enable commercial use of drones for tasks like photography, doorstep delivery, medical uses and even passenger transport, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Wednesday.
He also said that a regulated framework of usage of drones will help sectors such as agriculture, oil, and gas.
Highlights of proposed regulations:
- There are 5 types of drones: Nano (up to 250g), Micro (251g to two kg), mini (2kg to 25kg), Small (25kg to 150kg) and Large (over 150kg).
- Drones under 250 g (nano) won’t need security clearance.
- Micro category (250 g to 2 kg) will get approvals in 2 days.
- Whenever you operate a drone, you will need different approval. Apart from nano drones, all other categories will need an air defence clearance so that aviation as well as security authorities are aware of the flight path.
- There will be no-drone zones such as above operational aerodromes and within 5 km of Vijay Chowk in Delhi, within 500 metres from strategic locations, from mobile platforms such as car, ship or air craft, over eco-sensitive zones like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries (unless approved by Environment Ministry).
- Drones less than 2 kg and operating under 200 feet of height, once registered, can be flown without nods.
- Drones could be used for tasks like wildlife photography, delivering medical supplies, e-commerce deliveries, inspection of pipelines, and even passenger transport
Comments for the draft policy will be invited for 30 days and then consultations would be held in the Ministry. The regulatory framework is expected by December 31 .
Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey, said:
Drone operators won’t have any right to breach anyone’s privacy. We are talking to firms that have the technology to rein in such rogue drones, which take permission for a particular flight path but deviate or stray into restricted areas.