Drones Regulations will be effective from 1st December, 2018
- Operations of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) to be enabled through Digital Sky Platform
- Drones are a technology platform which has wide-ranging applications from photography to agriculture, from infrastructure asset maintenance to insurance. Drones range in size from very small and those that can carry multiple kilograms of payload.
- The Ministry of Civil Aviation has been working for several years to establish a world leading drone ecosystem in India.
- To that end, it was necessary to develop global standard drone regulations that would permit, will appropriate safeguards, the commercial application of various drone technologies.
- The preparation of these drone regulations through a Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) has taken multiple years because: (1) drone technologies have been evolving very rapidly; (2) many countries are still experimenting with their drone regulations and no ICAO stands have been developed; and (3) India’s security environment necessitates extra precautions.
- Instead of simply digitizing a paper-based process for registering and operating drones, India has formulated an all-digital process. The Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT).
- Users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners. For every flight (exempted for the nano category), users will be required to ask for permission to fly on a mobile app and an automated process permits or denies the request instantly.
- To prevent unauthorized flights and to ensure public safety, any drone without a digital permit to fly will simply not be able to takeoff. The UTM operates as a traffic regulator in the drone airspace and coordinates closely with the defense and civilian air traffic controllers (ATCs) to ensure that drones remain on the approved flight paths.