Now fly your drones legally; here’s all you need to know

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Flying drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) will be legal after December 1 when Director General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) new drone policy will come into effect. The new policy called ‘Drone Regulations 1.0’ classifies a remotely piloted aircraft and delineates how they can be flown and sets the restrictions under which they will operate.

The new policy called ‘Drone Regulations 1.0’ classifies a remotely piloted aircraft and delineates how they can be flown and sets the restrictions under which they will operate.

Definition of drones?

Ministry of Civil Aviation has defined drones as a technology platform that has wide-ranging application from photography to agriculture, from infrastructure asset management to insurance. Drones range in size from very small and those that can carry multiple-kilograms of payload.

The DGCA has defined five different categories of drones:

•Nano : Less than or equal to 250 grams

•Micro : From 250 grams to 2kg

•Small : From 2kg to 25kg

•Medium : From 25kg to 150kg

•Large : Greater than 150kg

Except Nano drones, the rest would have to be registered and issued an unique identification number (UIN).

The UAOP will have to be issued by DGCA within seven working days of submission of the necessary documents. These UAOPs are not transferrable and shall be applicable for not more than five years.

Penalty on Violation

Users risk cancellations or suspension of the UIN/UAOP if regulations are violated and will attract penal action under relevant IPC sections 287, 336, 337, 338 under Aircraft Act 194 and Aircraft Rules.

The Government is working towards technologies to restrict or neutralize rogue drones that are not registered.

Right Approach?

Legalizing use of drones is a step in the right direction and implementation will go through a trial and error phase before the process is smooth with fewer challenges.

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