New Delhi: Opening up domestic skies for drones, the government on Thursday notified the “liberalised” Drone Rules, 2021 repealing the “restrictive” Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), 2021 which had been brought last March.
Accordingly, the number of forms for owning and operating drones has been reduced from 25 to 5 while types of fees slashed from 72 to 4.
The users would now not require permission for operating drones in green zones. The requirement of remote pilot license for micro drones (for non-commercial use) and nano drones has been done away with.
There will also be no need to get security clearance before issuance of any registration or licence. Restriction on foreign ownership in Indian drone companies has also been removed.
The Civil Aviation Ministry has said that the new rules are built on a premise of trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring. Further, they are designed to usher in an era of super-normal growth while balancing safety and security considerations.
Commenting on the eased drone rules, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the new Drone Rules will tremendously help start-ups and youth working in this sector. It will open up new possibilities for innovation and business. It will help leverage India’s strengths in innovation, technology and engineering to make India a drone hub, he said.
“The new Drone Rules usher in a landmark moment for this sector in India. The rules are based on the premise of trust and self-certification. Approvals, compliance requirements and entry barriers have been significantly reduced,” he tweeted.
The Aviation Ministry in an official statement said that a Drone Promotion Council would be set up by the government with participation from academia, startups and other stakeholders to facilitate a growth-oriented regulatory regime.
Use of drones has been on the rise with the unmanned aerial vehicle being flown for land mapping, photography, security surveillance etc. Aviation experts have said that drones will change the future of mobility.
Drones can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.
“In view of its traditional strengths in innovation, information technology, frugal engineering and huge domestic demand, India has the potential to be global drone hub by 2030,” said Aviation Ministry.
The new Drone rules would cover drone taxis also. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will prescribe drone training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online.
Remote pilot licence would be issued by DGCA within 15 days of pilot receiving the remote pilot certificate from the authorised drone school through the digital sky platform.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy like – agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence and law enforcement etc.