The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has notified the Drone Rules, 2021 replacing the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) rules, 2021.
- The new rules are much liberalised & aim to make it easier for people and companies to own & operate drones.
- Background: The UAS Rules, 2021 were published by MoCA in March 2021.
Key features of Drone Rules, 2021
i.Several approvals abolished: Unique Authorisation Number (UAN), Unique Prototype Identification Number, Certificate of manufacturing and Airworthiness, Certificate of conformance, Certificate of maintenance, Import clearance, Acceptance of existing drones, Operator permit, Authorisation of R&D organisation, Student remote pilot licence, Remote pilot instructor authorisation, Drone port authorisation etc.. has been abolished under the new rules.
ii.Total number of forms to be filled has been reduced from 25 to 5.
iii.Fees Reduction: The total number of fees to be paid to operate a Drone reduced from 72 to only 4.
- The quantum of fees which was linked to the size of the drone has been reduced & delinked from the size.
- For instance, the fee for a remote pilot license fee has been reduced from INR 3000 (for large drones) to INR 100 for all categories of drones; and is valid for 10 years.
iv.the Digital Sky platform that was envisaged in 2018 will be developed as a single-window platform for the clearances that are required.
v.Interactive airspace map with green, yellow and red zones shall be displayed on the digital sky platform
- Green Zone – No permission is required for operating drones
- Yellow Zone – Permission required
- Red Zone – Flying not permitted
vi.Yellow zone reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.
vii.Promote Drone taxis: The coverage of these rules has been increased to cover drones up to 500 kg in weight from 300 kg earlier, thereby bringing drone taxis.
viii.Import of drones to be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
- Requirement of import clearance from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been abolished.
ix.Penalty: Maximum penalty for violations reduced to Rs 1 lakh.
Recent Related News
In June, 2021, Flipkart partnered with Telangana Government to implement the “Medicines from the Sky” project on pilot basis in the state, to supply COVID-19 vaccines & emergency medical supplies to the rural inaccessible areas using Drones.
About The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA)
Union Minister – Jyotiraditya M Scindia (Rajya sabha – Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Vijay Kumar Singh (Lok sabha- Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh)