Ministry of Civil Aviation releases Draft Drone Rules, 2021

Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has released reorganized “Drone Rules, 2021” for public consultation.

Highlights

  • Draft rules were built on premise of trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring.
  • It will replace UAS Rules 2021 that was released on 12th March 2021.

Draft Drone Rules 2021

  • As per new rules, there will be minimal human interface on digital sky platform and most permissions will be self-generated.
  • It will also notify safety features such as ‘No Permission – No Take-off’ (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc. in future.
  • Under the rules, import of drones & drone components will be regulated by Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
  • All drone training and testing will be carried out by an authorised drone school.
  • Directorate General of Civil Aviation will prescribe training requirements, look after drone schools and provide pilot licences online.
  • Standard operating procedures (SOP) and training procedure manuals (TPM) will be provided by DGCA on digital sky platform for self-monitoring by users.
  • Operating drones with no unique identification number will not be allowed unless it is exempted. Drone operators are required generate a unique identification number of drones by providing requisite details on digital sky platform.

Three zones in airspace map

Drone Rules 2021 provides for an interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones. These zones will be displayed on digital sky platform. Yellow zone has been reduced to 12 km from 45 km from nearby airport perimeter. In green zones, no flight permission is required up to 400 feet and up to 200 feet in area between 8 to 12 km from airport perimeter.

Digital sky platform

This initiative was started by MoCA to provide a secure & a scalable platform to support drone technology frameworks like NPNT. It was designed to enable flight permission digitally and managing unmanned aircraft operations & traffic efficiently.

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