DRONE RULES 2022
Amendment and classification
CHRONOLOGY OF DRONE RELATED LAWS IN INDIA:
- UAS Rules, 2021
- Drone Rules, 2021,
- Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022
Regarding drones are the Indian government, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (moca), and the DGCA.
Drone categories in india:
Various drone categories segregated by the government or purpose of regulation. They are:
- Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams.
- Micro: Greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg.
- Small: Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.
- Medium: Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.
- Large: Greater than 150 kg.
Exemptions from prior approval - Except in the nano category and micro category only for non-commercial use, all drone activities must be done only after receiving prior approval from the Digital Sky online platform for a flight or series of flights.
- The drone operator will also guarantee that the aircraft remains inside the stated area for which permission was granted, as well as provide an online log of each flight.
- For the nano and micro category the 2022 rules state that for flying and operating tiny drones one does not need a permit.
- Moreover, the government is carving out drone corridors to facilitate delivery of cargo deliveries.
Certificate to fly a drone
Who can apply for a licence? It can be a company or an individual.
Who can award license?
On an application filed by a manufacturer or importer of that type of drone on the digital sky platform, the Quality Council of India or a certification entity authorized by the Quality Council of India or the Central Government may issue a certificate of airworthiness for that type of drone if it meets the specified certification standards.
Central Government may set the standards for getting a certificate - The Central Government may set the standards for getting a certificate of airworthiness for drones based on the Quality Council of India’s suggestion. These guidelines may encourage the adoption of Indian-made technology, designs, components, and drones, as well as India’s regional navigation satellite system, Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC).
- Research and development entities no longer require a type certificate, a unique identification number, prior permission, or a remote pilot license for drone flying in India.
- Furthermore, under the new regulations type certification of drones will be completely undertaken by the Quality Council of India and other entities that have received authorisation from Quality Council of India.
Drone flying restrictions in India
The restrictions of drones flying in India are stated below.
- A micro drone may not fly higher than 60 meters above ground level (AGL) or faster than 25 meters per second.
- A small drone may not fly higher than 120 meters above ground level or faster than 25 meters per second.
- Drones that are medium or large must fly in compliance with the conditions outlined in the DGCA’s Operator Permit.
- Prohibited zones are completely off-limits, whereas restricted areas require prior approval from the DGCA.
Area classification to fly a drone
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, an interactive airspace map would be available on its website, showing the three zones:
- Yellow (controlled airspace).
- Green (no permission required).
- Red (flying not permitted).
Drone operators can use these zones to determine where they can and cannot fly their unmanned aircraft systems.
The yellow zone, which was previously a 45-kilometer radius around an airport perimeter, has been decreased to a 12-kilometer radius, indicating that drone operators no longer need permission to fly outside of a 12-kilometer radius around an airport perimeter.
Green zone is the airspace upto 400 feet that has not been designated as a red or yellow zone; and upto 200 feet above the area located between 8-12 km from the perimeter of an operational airport.
No-Fly zones in India (Red Zone)
Drones are not permitted to be flown in India in case of the following:
- Within 5 kilometers of the international airport perimeters in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.
- Within a 3-kilometer radius of any civil, private, or defense airport’s boundaries.
- Within 25 kilometers of the international border (AGPL) that includes Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC), and Actual Ground Position Line.
- Without clearance, within 3 kilometers of military installations/facilities.
- Within a 5-kilometer radius of Delhi’s Vijay Chowk.
- Unless clearance is acquired, within 2 km of the perimeter of strategic locations/vital installations notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- In the State Capitals, within a 3-kilometer radius of the State Secretariat Complex.
- If the ground station is located on a fixed platform on land, it can be placed beyond 500 meters (horizontal) into the water from the coast.
- From a moving vehicle, a ship, or any other improvised floating platform.
- Without prior approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, over eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
- Within Prohibited, Restricted, and Danger zones, whether permanent or temporary.
Penalty for non-compliance of the Drone Rules, 2021
After giving a person an opportunity to be heard, if the Director-General or an officer authorized by the Central Government, State Government, or Union Territory Administration is satisfied that a person has contravened or failed to comply with the provisions of these rules, he may levy a penalty not exceeding rupees one lakh in accordance with Section 10A of the Aircraft Act, 1934, for reasons to be recorded in writing.
Key amendments to the Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022
On 11th February, 2022 the Ministry of Civil Aviation enacted and passed the Drone (Amendment) Rule, 2022. The key amendments to the previous rule are as follows:
- The remote pilot certificate will no longer be required for the micro category (only for non-commercial purposes) of drones.
- Under Rule 16 the registration of unmanned aircraft systems for the words, “within a period of thirty-one days falling after the said date” will be substituted with the words, “on or before the thirty-first day of March, 2022”.
- An individual owning any unmanned aircraft system manufactured in India or imported into India on or before 30th of November, 2021 must make an application to register and obtain a unique identification number and state the required details in form D-2 and the stipulated fee under Rule 46.
- Rule 34 which talks about procedure for obtaining a remote pilot license, sub-rule (4) has been omitted.
- The word “license” under the Rule has been substituted with the word “certificate” dealing with Remote Pilot Training Organization, Research, Development and Testing under the Rule.
- The amendment also modified Form D-1, D-2, D-3, D-4 and D-5.
Do’s and don’t to be kept in mind while flying drones in India
- For operating in controlled airspace, obtain a Unique Identification Number (UIN) from the DGCA and attach it to your RPA.
- Only fly during daytime hours (after sunrise to before sunset)
- Fly in favorable weather: Good weather allows one to not only fly your RPA more efficiently but also to maintain track of it while it is in the air.
- Avoid airports and heliports at all costs.
- People’s privacy must be respected.
- Adhere to the flying guidelines.
- Fly a Nano RPA no higher than 50 feet (15 meters) off the ground.
- Never fly a Micro RPA higher than 200 feet (60 meters) off the ground.
- Keep RPA at a distance of no more than 400 feet (120 meters) from the ground.
- Avoid flying RPA close to airports and heliports.