The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has finally announced the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) regulations for flying drones in India. The Drone Regulation 1.0 which was announced today, is said to enable safe commercial usage of drones in India. The new regulation will come into act starting December 1, 2018, alongside which, the Ministry is also said to launch their Digital Sky Platform.
The Ministry explained it took years to formulate the Regulations for the drones as the drone technology has been developing rapidly. The ministry has added that the drones shall operate only within the Visual Line of Sight (VLoS) which is up to an altitude of 400 ft, and only during day-time.
The Digital Sky Platform is an unmanned traffic management platform that features “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT) system. This system requires users first to register their drones, the pilot and owner details. NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies would require to register the RPAS with a “Unique Identification Number” (UIN), while RPA operators shall require to register for “Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit” (UAOP) Except for nano drones, the rest of the drones are required to ask for permission to fly, on their mobile apps. An automated system instantly permits or denies user’s flight requests.
The DGCA has divided the Civil Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) into 5 categories based on the maximum weight including the payload. They are:
Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams.
Micro: Greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg.
Small: Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.
Medium: Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.
Large: Greater than 150 kg.
The RPAS need to have the necessary equipment for operation. They are:
1. GNSS (GPS)
2. Return-to-Home (RTH)
3. Anti-Collision Light
4. ID plate
5. Flight Controller with data logging capability
6. RFID and SIM/ No Permission, No Take off (NPNT)
The Ministry has also announced No Drone Zones as well. The Ministry has declared Airports, international borders, Vijay Chowk in Delhi, State Secretariat Complexes in State Capitals, strategic locations/vital and military installations as No Drone Zones, meaning people are prohibited from flying their drones in these areas.
In case of a violation of the enforced regulations, infringers will have to face the following punishments:
>Suspension/ Cancellation of UIN/ UAOP in case of a breach of regulatory provisions.
>Actions as per relevant sections of Aircraft Act 1934 or Aircraft rules or any statutory regulations.
>Users shall be penalized as per applicable IPCs such as IPC 287, 336, 337, 338 or any other relevant IPC sections.
On this occasion, Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation Shri Suresh Prabhu said,
“Today we start an exciting new chapter in India’s aviation history, by allowing commercial rules of drones. I am sure that many new and exciting applications will emerge that will propel India’s economy forward. Our progressive regulations will encourage a vast Made in India drone industry.”
Hon’ble Minister of State Shri Jayant Sinha that said,
“We want to establish a World-leading drone eco-system. These regulations firmly place us among the global leaders. Our policy roadmap will certainly provide a strong impetus to all players in the drone ecosystem. We hop that these initiatives will enable us to create a vibrant new industry.”
Registration Fee for flying drones is as follows:
1. Pilot license – INR 25,000
2. Drone UIN – INR 1,000
3. Renewal Fee – INR 10,000