Centre issues draft national drone policy, plans to relax existing rules

No flight permission will be required up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter

Press Trust of India July 15, 2021 14:32:10 IST
Centre issues draft national drone policy, plans to relax existing rules

Representational Image. ANI

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued draft rules to ensure ease of using drones in India on the basis of "trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring", an official statement said on Thursday.

The number of forms to be filled to operate drones in the country have been reduced to six in draft Drone Rules, 2021' in comparison to 25 forms mentioned in the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021, it said.

The UAS Rules, 2021 came into force on March 12 this year. The Drone Rules, 2021, once notified, will supersede the UAS Rules, 2021.

The fee, in the draft rules, has been reduced to nominal levels and de-linked from the size of the drone, the statement said.

The draft rules have also abolished the requirement of various approvals, including certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permit, authorisation of R&D organisation and student remote pilot licence, it said.

No flight permission will be required up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter, the draft rules stated.

The draft rules have also prescribed easier process for transfer and deregistration of drones.

The draft rules have been built on a premise of trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring, the ministry stated.

No pilot licence will be required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drone and for R&D (research and development) organisations, the draft rules mentioned.

Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries and a drone promotion council will be set up to facilitate drone-friendly regulatory regime in the country, according to the draft rules.

The last date for public to submit their comments on the draft rules is August 5.

The draft rules also stated that there would be no restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.

Digital sky platform will be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.

"There will be minimal human interface on the digital sky platform and most of the permissions will be self-generated," the draft rules added.

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