The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on August 27, 2018 issued the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) or regulations for civil use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) commonly known as drones.
The regulations were developed after extensive consultations among various stakeholders, and will be effective from December 1, 2018.
Drones are a technology platform having 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.
Drone Regulations 1.0: Regulations for Civil Use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (Drones)
While launching the regulations, the Civil Aviation Minister, Suresh Prabhu said that the Drone Regulations 1.0 are intended to enable visual line-of-sight daytime-only and a maximum of 400 feet altitude operations of the drones.
As per the Drone Regulations 1.0, the airspace has been partitioned into three zones- the Red Zone in which flying is not permitted, Yellow Zone that is a controlled airspace; and the Green Zone for automatic permission.
There are 5 categories of RPAS (drones), categorised by weight. These five categories are - Nano, Micro, Small, Medium and Large.
The regulation defines “No Drone Zones” around airports; near international border, Vijay Chowk in Delhi; State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals, strategic locations/vital and military installations; etc.
The enforcement actions are:
Why it took multiple years to put-out regulations on drones?
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has been working really hard to establish a world leading drone ecosystem in India. The purpose necessitates the development of global standard drone regulations that would permit the commercial application of various drone technologies.
The preparation of drone regulations through a Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) took multiple years as:
• Drone technologies have been evolving very rapidly
• Many countries are still experimenting with their drone regulations and no ICAO stands have been developed
• India’s security environment necessitates extra precautions
Drone Regulations 2.0
The Drone Task Force, constituted under the chairmanship of the Minister of State Jayant Sinha, will provide draft recommendations for Drone Regulations 2.0. These regulations will examine the following issues:
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