Drones will definitely play a big part in the future and they can be used for almost any task. This year, the Indian Government’s Ministry of Civil Aviation or MoCA published the Unmanned Aircraft Systems or the UAS rules for the application of drones in our country. However, the rules published by the MoCA were extremely restrictive and involved a lot of paperwork. This is the main reason why the Indian government has revised these rules and published a liberal version of the same. The types of fees included are now 4, down from 72 whereas the number of new rules has been decreased from 25 to 5.
Quoting our country’s Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, “The new Drone Rules will tremendously help start-ups and our youth working in this sector. It will open up new possibilities for innovation & business. It will help leverage India’s strengths in innovation, technology & engineering to make India a drone hub.”
Post the release of these rules, the government is also planning to publish an airspace map on the interactive digital sky platform that clearly indicates the red, yellow, and green zones within the next 30 days. The green zone refers to airspaces with a vertical distance of up to 120 meters or 400 feet. However, in areas located within 8 to 12 kilometers from the boundary of an airport, the green zone is restricted to 200 feet or 60 meters. If you want to fly your drone in the green zone, you do not need any permission from the government.
Additionally, the yellow zone has been reduced from 45 KM to 12 KM from the airport perimeter. The government has also eliminated the need to have a remote pilot license for operating a micro drone or a nano drone. Additionally, the fee for procuring a remote pilot license for a large drone has now been fixed at Rs. 3,000 whereas it is Rs. 100 for other drone categories. The license would be valid for a duration of 10 years from the date it is issued.
The Indian government has also increased the coverage of drones to 500 kg from the previous 300 kg. The maximum penalty for violating any rule has been fixed at Rs.1 lakh and any accident involving a drone should be reported within 48 hours.