India’s Drone Regulations 2021, A Policy Analysis

Introduction to History of Drones in India 

Compared to other countries, India has different regulations on the use of drones. Failure to do so may result in huge fines for those who fly drones. Drone pilots need to know this. Drones are rapidly bringing the next great technological revolution around the world, mainly because it has a wide range of uses, from simple drone photography to the transportation of small goods from one place to another. The list may be endless. In most cases, these drones are small and flexible, capable of penetrating areas where it is almost impossible for humans to spray pesticides on the fields and install sensors deep in the jungle to monitor the forest. Even food delivering partners like swiggy and zomato are working on drone enabled delivery systems. These are just a few examples of how these drones can be helpful.

Although, like any other technology, its use depends largely on the intentions of the person controlling it, criminals can use drones for illegal or destructive activities, such as the recent unmanned aerial attack in an air force base in  Jammu. We cannot ignore the fact that they are also easy to fail and inadvertently cause harm to others. Therefore, it is very important to regulate its property and use. Earlier this year, the Indian government also made recommendations for UAS under the guidelines of Ministry of Civil Aviation Regulations 2021. The new laws and regulations on drones apply to all people who want to use drones’ UAS  in India. This is the idea of ​​regulations on how to fly drones in the country. After approval and announcement (possible changes), the 2021 Unmanned Aircraft Regulations will replace the existing UAS regulations 2021 issued on March 12, 2021. India may have lost a bus in the helicopter; but the drone hall seems to have succeeded but still the question persists whether the new rules for UAS is exhaustive enough to control the misuse of unmanned aerial vehicles? 

New Rules related to Unmanned Aerial Systems in India

Recently the Ministry of Civil Aviation issued an updated 2021 drone regulations  for public opinion. The 2021 Unmanned Aircraft Regulations will replace the 2021 UAS Regulations issued on March 12, 2021. The agency said in a statement that the last public comment date was August 5, 2021. The updated rules are based on trust, self-certification and inadmissibility-the premise of invasive surveillance. The aviation ministry confirmed  that a new drone corridor will be created for cargo transportation and a drone promotion will be established by the Commission to help create a regulatory system that is conducive to business.

According to the new rules, unique authorization number, prototype unique ID, qualification certificate, maintenance certificate, import license, existing drone acceptance, operator license, R&D organization license, remote pilot student license, remote instructor pilot Authorization, drone port authorization, etc. are mandatory and the number of forms has been reduced from 25 to 6. The department stated that the amount of the fee has been reduced to a nominal amount, and there is no indication of the size of the drone. No permission, no takeoff (NPNT) policy, real-time tracking beacons, geofencing and other security features are also to be included under these new rules. The new rules for UAS in India provide for a six-month compliance period. As a business-friendly online system with a window, the  digital sky platform will have a minimal user interface, and most resolutions will be automatically generated. An interactive airspace map with green, yellow and red areas will now be displayed on the digital sky deck. The yellow area moved from 45 kilometers to 12 kilometers from the airport. It does not need to fly more than 400 feet in the green area and less than 200 feet from 8 to 12 kilometers around the airport as no flight permit is required. R & D Space does not require pilot licenses organized by Microdrones (for non-commercial use), Nano Drones, and R & D.

The restrictions on the operation of drones by foreign companies registered in India have also been lifted, and the import of drones and drone components has been supervised, without the need to obtain authorization before registration or licensing. It also does not require the R & D organization’s airworthiness certificate, unique identification number, prior authorization and remote pilot’s license. According to the new regulations, starting from 2021, the use range of drones will be increased from 300 kg to 500 kg, this will also be applicable to driverless taxis. All drone training and testing are conducted by licensed drone schools. The maximum fine for drone regulations in 2021 has been reduced to 100,000. However, this does not apply to fines for violation of other laws. 

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