Drones are legal in India from December 2018 – Drone Regulation 1.0

A very big news is coming from the Office of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) which should mark as a historic day in India’s Drone Industry. The Drone Regulation 1.0 has finally been released which would be effective from 1st December 2018. We had earlier updated the current situations earlier and the Drone Regulation 1.0 is a welcoming step in the right direction to all the stakeholders in Drone Industry

DGCA had put a blanket ban on any kind of Drone Operations by private players by a Public Notice back in October 2014 which had limited the growth of Drone Industry in India. The hope for the removal of ban came with First DGCA Drone Regulation Draft in April 2016 and then after a lot of wait again with Second DGCA Drone Regulation Draft in November 2017. What was interesting to note was the growth of Drone Industry was still going happening with several government agencies taking interests in using Drones and Drone Technology for Surveying, Mapping, Inspections, 3D City Modelling and Agriculture. Many companies were formed during this times coming up with Innovative use cases for solving several issues using Drone Technologies. Indrones was also actively involved with several private and government organisations for POCs and large scale projects. All this efforts has now been given a boost with the new Drone Regulation by DGCA and we shall see a lot of uses of Drones and Drone Technology in the coming time.

 

Following are some of the highlights we feel are worth noting:

  1.  Clear distingush between the categories of Unmanned Aircrafts: i. Remotely Piloted Aircraft ii. Autonomous Aircraft iii. Model Aircraft. From this distinguish it is clear that the hobbyist, aeromodellers and students involved in research and development will be treated differently.
  2. Only 24 hours for Flight Plans Approvals after filing and only 7 days for getting a new UAOP
  3. All the approvals and flight request will be carried out by DCGA’s own version of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) tool called ‘Digital Sky’. The complete operation will be digital and manual for using the same shall be released on 1st December 2018
  4. The cost of new UIN – Rs. 1,000, new UAOP – Rs. 25,000 and renewal of UAOP – Rs. 10,000/- (Page 22)
  5. Maximum operations of Drones (except Nano and Micro) increased to 400 feet, which is also an international standard which was kept to 200 feet earlier. (Page 9)
  6. Clear syllabus for a comprehensive drone training program. Standard training of 5 days. (Page 28)
  7. Comprehensive list of Drone Testing Centres across the country (Page 35)

Apart a lot of known questions have been answered in the list of FAQs by DGCA here: http://dgca.nic.in/cars/RPS-FAQs.pdf

Going forward DGCA will issue the Drone Regulation 2.0 which would include certification of Drone Hardware and Software, Automated Airspace Management, Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Operations, India’s contribution to global standards and any amendments need to existing CAR.