Drone is become famous for videographers and photographers to take eagle eye shots but flying drone without permission in India is illegal. There was no clear guideline that how to get permission for drones. Only some government companies, law enforcement agencies and defence forces were legally allowed to use a drone. There are over 40,000 “civilians” drones in Indian skies. A report in The Economic Times stated how Indians have spent close to Rs 40 crore in the last two years on purchasing civilian drones, now you are going to read India’s first drone policy.
If you want to fly a drone then you need to follow some procedure to get permission to fly a drone in India.
Buying drone and categories information
If you want to buy drone from a company/website that ship drone from outside of India then don’t do it cause as per Customs Department’s rules and regulations drone is listed in prohibited category and you can face trouble . So buy drones online if they are shipping from India. A drone can be cost between 1500-50,000 and above.
As per the Drone Policy, there are 5 categories of Drones, and every category has different set of rules.
While the smallest drone category is 250 grms. in weight and the largest category is 150 kg+.
- Nano : Less than or equal to 250 grms.
- Micro : Greater than 250 grms and less than or equal to 2 kg.
- Small : Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.
- Medium : Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.
- Large : Greater than 150 kg
Except nano category drones, every other type of drones need two licenses from DGCA to fly a drone
- UIN (Unique Identification Number)
- UAOP (Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit)t.
However, there is an exception here: If you fly any drone below 200 feet, then you don’t need Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP). However, you will need to inform the police 24 hours prior to flying the drone.
At the same time, Nano drones cannot be flown beyond 50 feet.
How to apply for license
The cost of getting Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) is Rs 25,000, and can get from DGCA or Directorate General of Civil Aviation website. This is valid for 5 years.
Application form for the same can be also downloaded from the Drone Policy draft here http://www.dgca.nic.in/misc/draft%20cars/CAR%20-%20UAS%20(Draft_Nov2017).pdf.
And Unique Identification Number will cost Rs 1000, and will be required for every drone you purchase. Any drone flying without this ID will be illegal.
- Within 5 kms from the perimeter of airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad
- Within 3 kms from the perimeter of any defense, civil and private airport (other than the list mentioned above)
- Above the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) or PANS-OPS surfaces, whichever is lower of an operational aerodrome. The list is updated by Ministry of Civil Aviation (Height Restrictions for Safeguarding of Aircraft Operations) Rules, 2015 via Gazette of India notification GSR751(E)
- Within any permanent or temporary Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas including TRA, and TSA, as notified in AIP
- Within 25 kms from International Border, which includes Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL)
- Beyond 500 meters (coastal) into sea from a coast line
- Within 3 kms from the perimeter of any military installations, facilities
- Within 5 kms from the radius of Vijay Chowk in Delhi
- Within 2 kms from the radius of strategic locations, as specified by Ministry of Home Affairs
- Within 3 kms from the radius of State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals
- Drones won’t be allowed from a mobile platform like moving vehicle, ship or aircraft
- Over eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries notified by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change without prior permission.
- Drone operators would need a license to fly a drone, and it will cost Rs 25,000.
- A UIN or Unique Identification number is required for every drone which is flying, and it will cost Rs 1000 to get one
- Pilots or operators of drones will need to clear tests, related with the rules and regulations of flying a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
- The pilot needs to be at least class 10th pass, and 18+ years of age.
- The process to apply for license would be automated, and completely digital.
- During day-time, drones can be flown till 400 feet, and should be visible by the drone operator.
- The rule about the visibility of drones can be relaxed later on.
- Drones have been divided into 5 categories, based on the weight. Drones from 250 grams to 2 kgs wont be requiring any license or permission to fly. But drones beyond that weight will need a permit, for every flight.
- Drones flying in controlled airspace will require a flight plan and Air Defence Clearance (ADC) /Flight Information Centre (FIC) number for every flight.
See complete drone policy here: http://dgca.nic.in/cars/D3X-X1.pdf