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Centre notifies new Drone Rules: No security clearance needed, coverage increased from 300 to 500 kg

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New Delhi, Aug 26: The new Drone Rules 2021 have been announced. It says that no security clearance required before any registration or licence issuance. Further the new rules notified by the Centre also says that the coverage has been increased to include heavy payload and drone taxis.

Representational Image

The new Drone Rules 2021 which was announced in July replaces the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules 2001. This is a very progressive set of rules, which will significantly transform the Indian landscape for drones, the government said.

The rules say that approvals have been abolished. Unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, operator permit, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation, drone port authorisation, import permission for drone components, the rules also say.

The rules also say that the coverage of drones has been increased from 300 kg to 500 kg include heavy payload-carrying drones and drone taxis. Further the number of forms and permissions have been reduced from 25 to 5.

The rules also say that no security will be required before any registration or licence issuance. Fees for permissions reduced to nominal levels, the new rules further say.

The maximum penalty under the new rules have been reduced to Rs 1 lakh, but this will not be applicable to penalties in respect of violation of other laws.

Interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones will be displayed on the digital sky platform. Yellow zone reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter, the rules further say.

There would be no permission for operating a drone in green zones and upto 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter. The online registration of drones shall take place through the Digital Sky Platform, the rules notified further add.

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Other features of the New Drone Rules 2021:

  • Easy process prescribed for transfer and de-registration of drones.
  • An easy opportunity provided for regularisation of existing drones in the country.
  • No pilot licence required for operating nano drones and micro drones for non-commercial use.
  • Safety features like 'No permission - no take-off' (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc. to be notified in future. A minimum six-month lead time will be provided for compliance.
  • All drone training and examination to be carried out by an authorised drone school. DGCA shall prescribe training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online.
  • Type Certification of drones delegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it.
  • No requirement of type certificate, unique identification number, prior permission and remote pilot licence for R&D entities.
  • Import of drones to be regulated by DGFT.

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