Nano Drones Legal, Registration open for heavier ones

“Nano drones in India can start flying legally from today. For micro and above categories, operators and pilots are required to register on the Digital Sky Portal,” a civil aviation ministry statement said. (Representative image)

Flying drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) got legal sanction on Saturday. But, there is a catch — the RPAS should weigh just 250 grams or under, to be categorised as nano drones as per the government policy.

For heavier drones, the government has opened up the registration process that would help them take wing by the coming New Year’s Day.

“Nano drones in India can start flying legally from today. For micro and above categories, operators and pilots are required to register on the Digital Sky Portal,” a civil aviation ministry statement said.

However, nano drone operators are advised to inform the local police beforehand, and are not to breach the privacy of any individual. Also, nano drones are not to be flown above 50 feet from the ground.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday unveiled the Digital Sky Platform that would look into all drone operations in the country.

The Digital Sky Platform is a unique unmanned traffic management (UTM) system which is expected to facilitate registration and licensing of drones and operators, in addition to giving instant online clearances for every flight.

The platform will grant drone users permissions to fly their units anywhere in the country, except in the no-fly zones mentioned in the draft regulations. Drone operators can apply for permissions according to the type of drones they own.

To get permissions to fly, drone operators will have to file a flight plan. If a drone does not have permission to fly, it will not be allowed to take-off under the No-Permission-No-Takeoff (NPNT) policy.

“Flying in the ‘green zones’ will require only intimation of the time and location of the flights via the portal or the app. Permissions will be required for flying in ‘yellow zones’ and flights will not be allowed in the ‘red zones’,” the civil aviation ministry statement said.

The DGCA regulation defines “no-drone zones” as areas around airports, areas near the international border, Vijay Chowk in New Delhi, state secretariat complexes in the state capitals, strategic locations and vital military installations.

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Nano Drones Legal, Registration open for heavier ones

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