The Government of India’s new regulations on drone flights, to ensure safe and commercial usage of the aircraft, are set to become effective on 1 December.

The new Drone Regulations 1.0 have been developed after a series of consultations among various stakeholders.

India Civil Aviation Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said: “Today we start an exciting new chapter in India’s aviation history by allowing commercial use of drones.

“I am sure that many new and exciting applications will emerge that will propel India’s economy forward. Our progressive regulations will encourage a vast Made in India drone industry.”

The new regulations mean that the operators of drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) must conduct visual line-of-sight operation during the day only and at a maximum altitude of 400ft.

“Many new and exciting applications will emerge that will propel India’s economy forward. Our progressive regulations will encourage a vast Made in India drone industry.”

RPAS have been divided into five categories in terms of weight, namely nano, micro, small, medium and large, as per the regulation.

The regulations require all RPAS, except nano and those owned by National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies, to undergo a one-time registration process to get a unique identification numbers (UIN).

Should Boeing be bailed out?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Drone Regulations 1.0 have identified various ‘No Drone Zones’ across India, including airports, international border, state secretariat complex in state capitals, strategic locations, vital and military installations.

The operations of RPAS have been mandated through ‘Digital Sky Platform’, an unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that is based on the principal of ‘no permission, no takeoff’ (NPNT).

Among other features, the platform includes three colour zones, red, yellow and green, for dividing the country’s airspace.

The red zone covers the areas where flying is not permitted, while yellow and green zones mean controlled airspace and automatic permission areas, respectively.

In the next phase, the Drone Task Force, led by the India Civil Aviation State Minister Jayant Sinha, will provide draft recommendations for Drone Regulations 2.0, which will evaluate the certification of safe and controlled operation of drone hardware and software, as well as other issues.