India’s Drone regulations


Dream come true for all the drone aspirants. Recently, the Civil Aviation Ministry has announced guidelines for drones. According to the drone regulations 1.0, drones allowed to fly legally in India. So, soon we can see drones flying in the sky. Suresh Prabhu, Civil Aviation Minister said that the guidelines will help the innovation in the drone development. He added, “The drone market in India holds the potential of hitting over $1 trillion. We plan to develop drone manufacturing not only for the domestic market but abroad as well”.

The aviation minister said it took a long time to formulate the regulations because of security and safety issues. He also added, no international Civil Aviation Organisation stands had been developed. However, Jayant Sinha, State Ministry for Civil Aviation said the drone regulations 1.0 will come in effect from December 1.

Idea of Drone

Drones, commonly known as remotely operated aircraft (ROA), unmanned aerial vehicles(UAV), a remotely piloted vehicle (RPV), remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). Drones, commonly used by military, police, firefighting forces.

The old idea of unmanned air flight, used in new ways. In 1849, Austria attacked the Italian city of Venice using unmanned balloons filled with explosives. Few balloons were launched from land. While few balloons launched from the Austrian ship Vulcano.

Know more about drone regulations


Unmanaged traffic management-no permission results in no takeoff. An online one-time registration needed for the drone owners, pilot. In this process, one has to fill the use of the drone and the specific flight path. Users must request for permission to fly the drone. An instant reply received from an automated process about the permits or denies. This digital permit helps to avoid unauthorized usage of drones.

UTM platform works in coordination with civilian air traffic controllers and defence, to avoid unauthorized drones.

Eligibility for flying drone

One has to register his drone for flying purpose. The government issues a unique identification number to each and every drone. Similar to a car having the unique registration number. A driving license is must ride the vehicle on road. Similarly, the drone pilot needs to have a permit order. Drones which weigh less than 2 kg are exempted from these rules.

Drone zones and categories

According to the drone regulations, drones categorized into separate types based on their weight. The five separate types – nano, micro, small, medium and large.

  • Nano drones – less than or equal to 250g
  • Micro  – 250g to 2kg
  • Mini – 2kg to 25kg
  • Small – 25kg to 150kg
  • Large – greater than 150kg

The regulations specified three zones red, yellow, green zone.

Red zone – flying not permitted

In this zone, drones do not have permission to fly. The military region, airspace near the airport, near international borders, around parliament and Rashtrapati Bhavan comes under this zone.

Yellow Zone – controlled airspace

Permission required to fly a drone in this zone. Mandatory flight plan and an air defence clearance certificate.

Green Zone – uncontrolled airspace

Automatic permission in this zone.

Mandatory requirement

Few mandatory types of equipment to operate the drone include NPNT – no permission no takeoff, (RTH) Return-to-Home feature, Global Navigation System(GNS), ID-plate, Anti-collision light, Radiofrequency ID.

Limitations of regulations 1.0

Drone is allowed to fly only in daylight and furthermore, they are allowed only in Visual Line of Sight. Drones allowed to fly up to a 400 feet altitude. However, the altitude may be extended in near future. Drone delivery (drones with payload) not allowed in the current regulations 1.0.

Hence, the digital platform can be seen from December 1.


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