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Government Releases Draft Regulations For Commercial Use Of Drones

Drones
These draft regulations will enable commercial use of drones for tasks like photography, doorstep delivery and even passenger transport. (Image courtesy: Google)

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come up with draft regulations on civil use of drones, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju announced on Wednesday.

These regulations will enable the use of “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” for tasks like photography, doorstep delivery and even passenger transport.

A Sneak Peak at the Draft Regulations On Drones:

The drones are classified into five categories based on their maximum take-off weight:

  1. nano (upto 250 gm),
  2. micro (251 gm to two kg),
  3. mini (2 kg to 25 kg),
  4. small (25 kg to 150 kg) and
  5. large (greater than 150 kg).

The draft regulations would be placed in the public domain for a month to seek comments and suggestions from the public, after which rules would be finalized.

“By December 31, we will be in a position to come up with final regulatory framework for usage of drones,” Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey added.

Except for nano category and those operated by government security agencies, all other commercial categories of drones will be registered by DGCA which will issue it a Unique Identification Number.

The mini and above categories will require Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit while model aircraft upto 2 kg flown below 200 feet inside educational institution premises will not require the permit or identification number.

Remote pilots of the drones will have to undergo requisite training except in case of nano and micro categories.

The draft rules also imposed some restrictions on use of drones in terms of no-fly zones which include:

  1. area within 5 km from an airport,
  2. within 50 km from international border,
  3. beyond 500 meters into the sea along the coastline,
  4. within 5 km radius from Vijay Chowk in Delhi and
  5. from mobile platform such as a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft.

They would also not be permitted to fly over densely populated areas without prior approval and over areas affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway.

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