The government recognises that drones offer immense opportunities for economic growth and employment generation.
Hyderabad: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has published the Draft Drone Rules, 2021, for public feedback. With this move, the UAS Rules 2021 released on March 12 stand revoked.
All the stakeholders those owning or possessing or engaged in exporting, importing, manufacturing, trading, leasing, operating, transferring or maintaining a drone in India can submit their views and recommendations before August 5, 2021, deadline.
The government recognises that drones offer immense opportunities for economic growth and employment generation. There is however a need to regulate drone related activities in a manner such that they do not pose any risk to safety or security of people and assets.
Prem Kumar Vislawath, founder, Marut Drones, told Telangana Today, “The Draft Drone Rules simplify the permissions needed to carry out the research and development. The proposed Drone Promotion Council will facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime. The new rules which revoke the UAS Rules 2021 aim to expand the horizon of the use cases of drones.”
The new rules propose to abolish approvals for unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permit, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation and drone port authorisation etc.
The number of forms has been reduced from 25 to six. Fee reduced to nominal levels and there is no linkage with size of the drone. Safety features such as ‘No permission – no takeoff’ (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc. to be notified in future. A six-month lead time will be provided for compliance.
Digital Sky Platform shall be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system. There will be minimal human interface on the platform and most permissions will be self-generated. Interactive airspace maps with green, yellow and red zones will be displayed on the platform.
All the State Governments, Union Territory Administrations and law enforcement agencies shall be provided direct access to the data available on the digital sky platform. “This will enable States to implement drone-based projects and initiatives, such as Telangana’s ‘Medicine from the sky’ initiative, where Marut Drone is also contributing,” added Vislawath.
No pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drones and for R&D organisations. No restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India. Import of drones and drone components to be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. No security clearance required before any registration or licence issuance. Maximum penalty under Drone Rules, 2021 reduced to Rs 1 lakh.
Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also. All drone training and testing to be carried out by an authorised drone school. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shall prescribe training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online.
Issuance of Certificate of Airworthiness delegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it. Manufacturers may generate their drone’s unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route. Easier process prescribed for transfer and deregistration of drones. Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.
Standard operating procedures (SOP) and training procedure manuals (TPM) will be prescribed by the DGCA on the digital sky platform for self-monitoring by users.
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