The Ministry of Civil Aviation on 15th July has issued draft rules to ensure ease of using drones in India which are formulated on the basis of “trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring”, an official statement said.
The updated draft Drone Rules, 2021 are now released for public consultation and will soon be replacing the UAS (unmanned aircraft system) Rules 2021 which were released on 12 March 2021.
As per the new draft Drone Rules 2021, operating drones without a Unique Identification Number will not be allowed, unless exempted.
The main highlight of the Draft is that now the number of forms to be filled to operate drones in India has been reduced to six in comparison to the 25 forms mentioned in the previous Rules.
The Drone Rules, 2021, once notified, will supersede The Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021 came into force on March 12 this year.
One thing worth noting is that the fee to obtain permission has been reduced to nominal levels and is now independent of the size of the drone.
The draft rules will abolish the requirement of various approvals, including certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permits, authorization of R&D organization, and student remote pilot license.
Now the process of transferring and deregistration of drones has also been simplified.
No flight permission will be required up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter, the draft rules stated.
As well as there won’t be a requirement of the pilot license for micro drones (for non-commercial use) and nano drones and for R&D (research and development) organizations.
Drone operators will now have to generate a unique identification number of a drone by providing requisite details on the Digital Sky Platform which is an initiative by the Ministry of Civil Aviation that aims to provide a secure and scalable platform, supporting drone technology frameworks, such as NPNT (no permission, no take-off), designed to enable flight permission digitally and managing unmanned aircraft operations and traffic efficiently.
The digital sky platform will be also be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system to reduce human interference in the process.