If there was sector in the tech industry that needed a refresh of the rules applied, it was the Drone industry. Drones were banned from flying, even though it was used by some illegally to shoot some events. Even the hobbyists were always worried about the drone getting confiscated if they flew a small-sized one in their locality. Finally, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday announced the draft regulations for usage of drones in the country.

We want to make India the world’s leader in the use of drones, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said.

Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey said, related security issues were discussed with the Home Ministry and the draft regulation sought to improve ‘ease of doing business’ for the drones industry while securing any concerns of misuse.

The proposed regulations are summarized as below.

The drones in India are categorized into the following: Nano, Micro, Mini, Small, and Large.

The Nano drones are the ones that are weighing under 250 grams. These drones won’t need any security clearance for flight.

Micro drones are the ones weighing between 250 grams and 2 kg. You will need an approval for your licensed drone to fly one, and the approval is usually done within 2 days.

Except the nano drones, every other category requires an approval from the aviation department as the air defence clearance is given only when the aviation department is aware of the path of the drone.

If flying within the 200 meter range, you don’t always require an approval. This rule is applicable only for the drones weighing below 2 kg.

One cannot fly a drone above operational aerodromes, and flying a drone within 5km of Vijay Chowk is Delhi, within 500 meters 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), is not allowed. These all areas are the no-fly zones.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has made it clear that you can use the drones for photography, medical use, ad film making, and E-commerce companies can use it as well.

Though it is not going to happen anytime in the near future, one can consider using a drone for air rickshaws or as passenger drones.

Comments would be invited for 30 days and then consultations would be held in the Ministry. The regulatory framework can be expected by December 31.

Source: The Hindu

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