Drones: India

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August 29, 2018: The Hindu

“Remotely piloted aircraft have been divided into five categories,” said a story headlined “Online registration of drones must from Dec. 1” (Aug. 28, 2018), but went on to list only four of them. The five categories are: i) Nano: Less than or equal to 250 gm.

ii) Micro: Greater than 250 gm and less than or equal to 2 kg.

iii) Small: Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.

iv) Medium: Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.

v) Large: Greater than 150 kg.

Conditions to use

Training is essential

Saurabh Sinha, Want to fly drones? Get trained first, November 17, 2018: The Times of India

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come out with strict rules to keep a tab on people operating remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).

Obtaining a licence to operate a drone over 2 kg in weight will now cost you Rs 25,000. Renewing the licence will come at Rs 10,000. Not only that, anyone flying these drones will need formal training to do so from a DGCAapproved flying training organisation. These users, apart from security agencies, must first obtain a unique identification number (UIN).

The DGCA has categorised RPAS into five categories — nano (weighing up to 250gm and mostly used as toys), micro (250gm to 2 kg), small (2-25kg), medium (25-150kg) and large (above 150 kg).

“For imported RPAS, import clearance from DGCA and import licence from DGFT are required before applying for a UIN,” according to a guidance manual issued by DGCA chief B S Bhullar.

People who want to operate these drones must be over 18 years of age, “should have passed at least the 10th exam in English and should either obtain security clearance from the Union home ministry or submit self- attested copies of at least two out of three valid identity proofs — passport, driving license or Aadhar Card,” the manual says.

In case of foreign remote pilots employed by Indian entity, DGCA shall forward the documents for clearance to security agencies in accordance with the procedure being followed for Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorisation (FATA) pilots. Remote pilot training will not be needed for nano and micro category RPA pilots intending to operate in uncontrolled airspace.

After getting the UIP, operators wishing to fly drones over 2 kg will have to apply for the unmanned aircraft operator permit (UAOP) through the digital sky platform along with a fee of Rs 25,000. However, security agencies will not need this permit. Among documents required for this are “permission of the land/property owner (only for area used for take-off and landing of RPA). Details of remote pilot

(s) along with security clearance from the MHA.”

Regulation of drones

Draft rules: 2017

Drones may be allowed to make home deliveries, Nov 02 2017: The Times of India

Govt May Permit Kids' Drones Sans Licence

Drones may soon be doing doorstep delivery of packages you ordered on e-commerce sites. The government on Wednesday proposed to allow commercial use of drones, said aviation secretary R N Choubey .The ministry released draft rules for drone use which, on the one hand allow children to fly small drones (weighing less than 250 grams) without registering them or requiring a licence for them. And on the other, says aviation minister Jayant Sinha, permit “air rickshaws“ when that technology is available.

However, the draft rules list out some areas where drone flying by private individuals is prohibited due to aviation safety and security reasons. These are: within 5-km radius of an airport; within 50 km from international border and beyond 500 metres into sea along coastline; within 5-km radius of Vijay Chowk in Delhi; from a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft; over densely populated areas and places where emergency operations are underway .

The draft rules divide dro nes into five categories, based on weight. The lightest are below 250 grams and called Nano drones. And there are four categories above this: 250 gram to 2 kg; 2-25 kg; 25-150 kg and above 150 kg. Except Nano and those operated by government security agencies, all other categories of drones will need to be registered with the DGCA which will give each of them a unique identification number.

And except for the lightest two categories, people operating heavier drones will need an “unmanned aircraft operator permit.“ All drones will need to be flown below 200 feet. Barring Nano drones, all other heavier drones will need to have anti-collision lights and return to home option. “We are working on tech nology to neutralise rogue drones. We are also looking at technology which does not allow drones to deviate from the cleared route even if the operator tries to do that,“ secretary Choubey said. The ministry is also finalising which agency will be responsible for destroying a rogue zone.

“Drones are a very dyna mic and evolving technology. We have to be nimble footed in having regulations that enable its optimal use as the technology evolves. People are working on `air rickshaws',“ Sinha said.

While air rickshaws may be in distant future, the use by e-commerce sites for doorstep delivery may be a low hanging fruit which may soon be plucked. “These rules allow companies to deliver goods at doorstep provided they follow the rules prescribed under the rules. Both the aviation ministers wanted it to be open for all to use, including businesses,“ said Choubey . The secretary said the final policy on drones may be out by the year-end as the draft gives 30 days for inviting public comments which are then evaluated.

2018: Drones made legal

Flying drones in India just got easier: What you should know, August 28, 2018: Gadgets Now Bureau, The Times of India

Come December and flying drones in India is set to become easier. Or at least that’s what the new drone policy suggests. While drones have been deployed by photographers and a few commercial enterprises but there was always a lack of clarity around them. In the US and other countries, e-commerce platforms like Amazon use drones to deliver products as well. However, that still might take some time in India. Nevertheless, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has finally brought a sense of clarity and made it relatively easier for those who want to fly drones. Here’s all you need to know about the new drone policy:

What you need for flying a drone

While drone is basically a flying object, the DGCA policy defines it as a “remotely piloted aircraft, its associated remote pilot station(s), command and control links and any other components forms a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).” These RPAs or drones all need a Unique Identification Number which has to be plastered on the drone. Along with this, the drone operator also needs a Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit.

Drones have been categorised into 5 types based on their weight: Nano, Micro, Small, Medium and Large

According to the DGCA, drones can be categorised in five different types. Nano drone which is less than or equal to 250 gram. Then comes the Micro drone which is from 250gm to 2kg. The other three drone types include Small, Medium and Large which are from 2kg to 25kg, 25kg to 150kg and finally more than 150 kg respectively.

You will need permit from DGCA to fly drones (except for Nano drones)

If you have a drone which is any other than the Nano – which is basically a really tiny flying object – then you need to get an approval from DGCA. Once applied, the DGCA will grant an import clearance and only then one is actually allowed to fly drones. There are certain exceptions which can be made as per DGCA’s drone policy. For instance, if someone has a Micro drone and is operating it below 200 feet they are allowed to fly as long as they inform the local police 24 hours in advance. Also, any drone which is owned by certain government agencies can be operated by they too have inform the local police before getting them in air.

How to get the DGCA permit for flying drones

DGCA has clearly stated that a drone can only be flown by someone who is over 18 years of age. Also, the person should have – bizarrely if we may so so – passed “class 10th exam in English”. He/she should also must have undergone training as approved by DGCA. A list of documents has to be submitted to DGCA which will then issue the permit within seven days. The permit remains valid for a period of five years and us non-transferrable.

You can fly drones only during the day; insurance is compulsory

Firstly, an insurance is compulsory to cover any third-party damage which might be incurred. For all categories of drones, DGCA has laid out certain basis operating procedures. All drones will be restricted to fly during day time only. Not just that the drones have to be within VLOS or Visual Line of Sight. If you have two drones, you can’t operate them together as one person is allowed to fly only one Remotely Piloted Aircraft or a drone at a time.

You cannot fly drone within 5km radius around airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru

Remember that no drone can be flown within 5km of the major cities’ airports. In Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, you are not allowed to fly a drone within 5km of airport’s perimeters. This restriction comes down to 3km for all other cities’ airports.

Needless to say, a RPA or drone cannot be flown within 25kms of international borders. Furthermore, you aren’t allowed to operate a drone:

  • Beyond 500m into sea from the coast line
  • Within 3 km from perimeter of military installations
  • Within 5 km radius of Vijay Chowk in New Delhi
  • Eco-sensitive zones around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries
  • Within 3 km of State secretariat complexes
  • Within 2 km of “strategic locations” notified by ministry of Home Affairs

in India, in the world, 2020

The extent to which drone flight is regulated in India and comparable countries, presumably as in 2020
From: Oct 27, 2021: The Times of India

See graphic:

The extent to which drone flight is regulated in India and comparable countries, presumably as in 2020

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