Delivery of payload, including food items, by drones would not be allowed as of now, the government said on Monday as it released new regulations for commercial use of drones across sectors such as agriculture, health and disaster relief. The regulations will come into force from December 1.
“Our progressive regulations will encourage a vast Made-in-India drone industry,” Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said while unveiling the regulations in a statement.
Here’s the new drone (Unmanned aircraft) regulations according to a government statement:
1. All civilian drone operations will be allowed only during day time and flying will be restricted within visual line of sight – that is 450 metres.
2. Except nano drones and those owned by National Technical Research Organisation and central intelligence agencies, the rest would be registered and issued Unique Identification Number (UIN).
3. The drones are restricted from flying around airports, near international border, near coast line, state secretariat complexes.
4. The drones cannot operate in strategic locations, vital and military installations and Vijay Chowk in the capital.
5. The drones cannot be used for wedding photography.
6. The registration of the drones, permission to fly will be done digitally through the ‘digital sky platform’, connected to local police, which will implement “no permission, no take off”.
7. Users of the nano drone, which weighs less than 250 gram and flies up to 50 feet, are exempted from securing permission, including from local police. But micro drones flying up to 200 feet and small drones flying over 450 feet and above will have to require police permission.
8. Users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners.
9. 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.
10. To prevent unauthorized flights and to ensure public safety, any drone without a digital permit to fly will simply not be able to take off.
11. While drones can be used for agricultural purpose, they cannot be used for spraying pesticides until specifically cleared. Besides, carriage of explosives, animals and human payload are not allowed.
12. Suspension and cancellation of license has been provided in the regulations besides slapping of various sections of the Indian Penal Code for violation and falsification of documents.
Twenty-three sites have been identified across the country where the drone technology will be put to extensive use to evaluate its further usage. A drone task force under the ministry will provide draft recommendations for drone Regulations 2.0.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said: “We are likely to go from travelling in auto rickshaws to air rickshaws. There is a wide range of application of drones, from disaster relief, surveillance, security monitoring, precision agriculture, precision logistics”.