07 May, 2020
6 Min Read
Drone Regulation in India
Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The guidelines (Drone Regulations 1.0) issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for commercial use of drones or remotely operated aircraft came into force from December 1, 2018.
Drone Regulation 1.0
Under this regulation, the Digital Sky Platform will enable online registration of pilots, devices, service providers, and NPNT (no permission, no take-off). The Digital Sky Platform is a unique unmanned traffic management (UTM) system which is expected to facilitate registration and licensing of drones and operators in addition to giving instant (online) clearances to operators for every flight.
The airspace has been partitioned into Red Zone (flying not permitted), Yellow Zone (controlled airspace), and Green Zone (automatic permission). The restricted locations are airports, near international border, near coast line, state secretariat complexes strategic locations, military installations.
Drone is a layman terminology for Unmanned Aircraft (UA). There are three subsets of Unmanned Aircraft- Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Autonomous Aircraft and Model Aircraft. Remotely Piloted Aircraft consists of remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links and any other components, as specified in the type design.
All civilian drone operations will be restricted to only during day time and a maximum of 400 feet altitude.
Drone Regulations 2.0
Meanwhile, the government is already working on drone regulations 2.0, focussing on three thresholds:
The current policy allows one drone pilot for each drone whereas in the next set of regulations, one pilot can operate any number of drones. Under drone regulations 2.0, the drones will be tracked by computers through artificial intelligence. However,delivery of products by e-commerce players like Amazon and flying taxis like Uber Elevate are likely to be part of drone regulations 3.0.
Drones have immense potential apart from few mentioned above. This new policy initiative will open up many new and exciting applications that can propel India's economy forward. It can provide strong impetus to all players in the drone ecosystem and place India among the global leaders.
Although drone-enabled deliveries, air taxis, and many other innovations will not be widely available for years, but when available they could be as disruptive as the advent of automobiles. That gives all industry stakeholders impetus to identify roadblocks and realistically consider potential applications now.
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