Government Announces regulations for drones
06, Aug 2018
Prelims level : Drone regulations, Digital Sky Platform Mains level : Potential of and threats posed by drone technology
Why in News?
- The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has issued the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) for civil use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) commonly known as drones.
Drones registration rules:
- Drone Regulations 1.0 will enable the safe, commercial usage of drones starting December 1, 2018.
- These are intended to enable visual line-of-sight daytime-only and a maximum of 400 ft altitude operations.
- Airspace has been partitioned into Red Zone (flying not permitted), Yellow Zone (controlled airspace), and Green Zone (automatic permission).
Digital Sky Platform:
- The Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements “no permission, no takeoff” (NPNT)
- The UTM operates as a traffic regulator in the drone airspace and coordinates closely with the defence and civilian air traffic controllers (ATCs) to ensure that drones remain on the approved flight paths.
- Users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners
- For every flight (exempted for the nano category), users will be required to ask for permission to fly on a mobile app and an automated process permits or denies the request instantly .
- To prevent unauthorized flights and to ensure public safety, any drone without a digital permit to fly will simply not be able to take off.
Key features of Drone Regulations 1.0:
- As per the regulation, there are 5 categories of RPAS categorized by weight, namely nano, micro, small, medium and large.
- All RPAS except nano and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies are to be registered and issued with Unique Identification Number (UIN).
- Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) shall be required for RPA operators except for nano RPAS operating below 50 ft., micro RPAS operating below 200 ft., and those owned by NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence Agencies.
- The regulation defines “No Drone Zones” around airports; near the international border, Vijay Chowk in Delhi; State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals, strategic locations/vital and military installations; etc.
No Drone Zones:
- 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.
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.