From December 1, flying drones in India has become easier – if you have all the necessary documents – as the new Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s drone policy comes into effect. 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, ecommerce platforms like Amazon use drones to deliver products as well.
The policy 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 — dos and don’ts, lists of documents required, where you can or cannot fly drones and more
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.
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.
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 only after informing the local police before getting them in air.
DGCA has clearly stated that a drone can only be flown by someone who is over 18 years of age.
If a person wants to fly a drone then he/she should have – bizarrely if we may say so – passed “class 10th exam in English”. He/she should also must have undergone training as approved by DGCA.
There’s a specific list of documents that need 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 is non-transferrable.
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 also 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. This restriction comes down to 3km for all other cities’ airports
A 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.
Article Sourced from Times of India Gadgets Now official website.