Indian Government formulates draft guidelines for operating drones

By : |November 2, 2017 0

The Civil Aviation Ministry of India has issued draft norms for operating drones around the civilian areas in the country. According to the draft norms, drones for civilian use will require a unique identification number as well as radio frequency tags.

Under the draft rules issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), drones have been classified into five categories based on maximum take-off weight: nano (up to 250 gm), micro (251 gm to two kg), mini (2 kg to 25 kg), small (25 kg to 150 kg) and large (over 150 kg). Nano drones would be exempted from seeking one-time approval, including the issuance of a unique identification number. Remote pilots of the drones will have to undergo requisite training, except in case of nano and micro categories.

Apart from barring these drones to be operated within 5 kilometers of an airport, they would be restricted from “within 50 kilometers from international border and beyond 500 meters (horizontal) into the sea along the coastline”. Drones would not be allowed within “5-kilometer radius from Vijay Chowk (in national capital)” and also from a mobile platform such as a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft.

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Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said once the final rules are formulated, drones could be used for tasks like wildlife photography, delivering medical and food supplies, e-commerce deliveries, inspection of pipelines, and even passenger transport.

Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said, “By December 31, we will be in a position to come up with the final regulatory framework for the use of drones.”

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