Govt bans drones near airports, strategic installations

Flying drones within five km of six airports, including Bengaluru, has been banned. Besides Bengaluru, the government's first drone policy unveiled on Monday said, drones should not be operated within a distance of 5 km from the perimeter of airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.  Picture courtesy Twitter

Flying drones within five km of six airports, including Bengaluru, has been banned. Besides Bengaluru, the government's first drone policy unveiled on Monday said, drones should not be operated within a distance of 5 km from the perimeter of airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. For other airports, the limit is 3 km.

Drones also cannot operate 25 km from the International Border and Line of Control with Pakistan, Line of Actual Control with China and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen. The draft had suggested 50 km but it has now been reduced to 25 km. 

Drones cannot be flown within 5 km radius from Vijay Chowk, from where Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan and North and South Blocs are a stone's throw away, in Delhi. 
Similarly, one cannot fly a drone within 2 km from the perimeter of strategic locations/vital installations notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) unless clearance is obtained. The draft, however, had suggested only 500 metres.

The unmanned aircraft should not be flown within 3 km from the radius of state secretariat complex in state capitals and over eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

Addressing privacy concerns, the policy makes it clear that the drone operator or remote pilot “shall be liable to ensure that privacy norms of any entity are not compromised in any manner”.

A drone cannot be launched from a mobile platform such as a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft. The drone policy also disallows delivery of goods or food items using unmanned aircraft. A document publicised by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation along with the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on drone operations says that delivery of items is "not allowed as of now", which nixes the plans of e-tailers like Amazon to deliver parcels via drone for the time being. 

In its FAQ, the DGCA also says that food delivery is also not allowed using drones. One also cannot carry a drone in the hand baggage in aircraft.  “Foreigners are currently not allowed to fly drones in India. For commercial purpose, they need to lease RPAS to an Indian entity who in-turn will obtain Unique Identification Number (UIN) and UAOP from DGCA,” the policy states.
 
 

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