Thu, 26 Aug 2021 01:36 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran Technology Desk: The Ministry of Civil Aviationon on Thursday (August 26) passed a new drone policy under the Drone Rules 2021. It replaces the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rules 2021 which had come into force on March 12 this year. The move comes after a number of suspicious drones were reported recently in the Union Terrority of Jammu and Kashmir posing a security threat over India. The new drone policy makes several changes in the exisisting one that are crucial for almost all sectors of the economy including surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence, and law enforcement . Here's all you need to know about the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021.
What is the new drone policy?
Under the new Drone Rules, 2021 security clearance before any registration or licence issuance has been removed which was mandatory earlier. It aims to built a premise of trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring. It is designed to usher in an era of super-normal growth while balancing safety and security considerations.
What are the changes made?
- Under the new policy several approvals have been abolished which inlcude unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number,certificate of manufacturing and airworthiness, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permit, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation, drone port authorisation etc.
- Number of forms reduced from 25 to 5.
- Types of fee reduced from 72 to 4.
- The quantum of fee has been reduced to nominal levels and delinked with size of drone.
- Digital sky platform shall be developed as a user-friendly single-window system.
- No permission required for operating drones in green zones.
- Yellow zone reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.
- No remote pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use) and nano drones.
- No requirement for security clearance before issuance of any registration or licence.
- No requirement of Type Certificate, unique identification numberand remote pilot licence by R&D entities operating drones in own or rented premises, located in a green zone.
- No restriction on foreign ownership in Indian drone companies.
- Import of drones to be regulated by DGFT.
- Requirement of import clearance from DGCA abolished.
- Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also.
- DGCA shall prescribe drone training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online.
- Remote pilot licence to be issued by DGCA within 15 days of pilot receiving the remote pilot certificate from the authorised drone school through the digital sky platform.
- Testing of drones for issuance of Type Certificate to be carried out by Quality Council of India or authorised testing entities.
- Type Certificate required only when a drone is to be operated in India. Importing and manufacturing drones purely for exportsare exempt from type certification and unique identification number.
- Interactive airspace map with green, yellow and red zones shall be displayed on the digital sky platform within 30 days of publication of these rules.
- Nano and model drones (made for research or recreation purposes) are exempt from type certification.
- Manufacturers and importers may generate their drones’ unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.
- Easier process specified for transfer and deregistration of drones through the digital sky platform.
- Drones present in India on or before 30 Nov 2021 will be issued a unique identification number through the digital sky platform provided, they have a DAN, a GST-paid invoice and are part of the list of DGCA-approved drones.
- Standard operating procedures (SOP) and training procedure manuals (TPM) will be prescribed by DGCA on the digital sky platform for self-monitoring by users. No approvals required unless there is a significant departure from the prescribed procedures.
- Maximum penalty for violations reduced to INR 1 lakh.
- Safety and security features like ‘No permission – no takeoff’ (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc. to be notified in future. A six-month lead time will be provided to the industry for compliance.
- Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.
- Drone promotion council to be set up by Government with participation from academia, startups and other stakeholders to facilitate a growth-oriented regulatory regime.
Why is the new policy introduced?
The previous UAS Rules 2021 policy was restrictive in nature as they involved considerable paperwork, required permissions for every drone flight and very few “free to fly” green zones were available. Considering this the Centre decided to repeal the UAS Rules, 2021 and replace it with the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021.