The Department of Aviation presents a new draft of drone policy; main takeaways

Drone Rules, 2021 replaces Polytechnic Rules 2021 (published March 12, 2021). The deadline for receiving public comments is August 5, 2021.

The Department of Aviation presents a new draft of drone policy;  main takeaways

The Center has published a new draft national policy on the use of drones.

The Department of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has released an updated one – The Drone Rules, 2021 – for public consultation. The Drone Rules, 2021, which serve as the starting point for trust, self-certification, and undisturbed supervision, replaces the University of Applied Sciences Rules 2021 (published March 12, 2021). The deadline for receiving public comments is August 5, 2021.

The key retrievals of the draft Drone rule (2021) are:

  1. Approvals removed: individual license number, unique prototype number, certificate of conformity, certificate of release to service, import certificate, approval of existing drones, operator’s license, R&D organization license, student remote pilot’s license, remote pilot’s pilot’s license, drone port authorization, etc.
  2. Number of forms reduced from 25 to 6.
  3. The fee was reduced to the nominal level. No connection to drone size.
  4. Safety features such as ‘No Permit – No Takeoff’ (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fences, etc. will be announced in the future. A lead time of six months is given for compliance.
  5. The Digital Sky platform needs to be developed into a business-friendly single-window network system.
  6. The digital sky platform has few human interfaces, and most licenses are self-generated.
  7. An interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red areas is displayed on a digital sky platform.
  8. The yellow zone was reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.
  9. A permit to fly is not required up to 400 feet in green areas and up to 200 feet in an area 8-12 km from the airport perimeter.
  10. Micro-drones (for non-commercial use), nano-drones and R&D organizations do not require a permit to fly.
  11. The drone activities of foreign-owned companies registered in India are not restricted.
  12. Imports of drones and drone components regulated by DGFT.
  13. No security check is required prior to registration or licensing.
  14. R&D units are not required to have a certificate of airworthiness, a unique identification number, a prior authorization and a remote pilot license.
  15. According to the Drone Rules, the degree of drone coverage in 2021 increased from 300 kilos to 500 kilos. This also covers drone taxis.
  16. All drone training and testing is performed by an authorized drone school. The DGCA determines training needs, oversees drone schools, and provides flight permits online.
  17. Issuance of a certificate of airworthiness delegated to the Indian Quality Council and its authorized certification bodies.
  18. The manufacturer can create a unique identification number for his drone on a digital sky platform through a self-certification path.
  19. An easier process is required to move and unregister drones.
  20. The DGCA imposes standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training procedures guidelines (TPMs) on the digital sky platform for user self-monitoring. Approval is not required unless there are significant deviations from the prescribed procedures.
  21. Maximum penalty under the Drone Rules, 2021, reduced to 1 law. However, this does not apply to sanctions arising from violations of other laws.
  22. Drone corridors are being developed for cargo transportation.
  23. The Dronie Promotion Council will be established to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory system.

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