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In good news for drone enthusiasts, individuals and companies can legally fly drones from December 1, 2018 in areas other than those barred for security reasons, regulations for use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) released by the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday.
The commercial use of drones will not be allowed as of now, restricting use of drones as taxis, delivery vehicles or other services. However, ministry officials said that there may be changes made in the regulations as technology advances.
“We want to establish a world-leading drone ecosystem. These regulations firmly place us among the global leaders. Our policy road map will provide strong impetus to all players in the drone ecosystem. We hope that these initiatives will enable us to create a vibrant new industry,” minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said.
"We are likely to go from travelling in auto rickshaws to air rickshaws. There is a wide range of application of drones, from disaster relief, surveillance, security monitoring, precision agriculture, precision logistics," said Jayant Sinha.
Press Release on Drones: pic.twitter.com/6ZlPeLJpxB— Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) August 27, 2018
According to the regulations, no permissions will be needed for flying 'nano' drones weighing less than 250gms, but operators would be advised to inform the local police in advance and not breach the privacy of any individuals.
Operators interested in using drones for photography and recreational purposes will be able to apply for permission and get instant approvals through the Digital Sky Platform portal.
A ministry official said, “Users will be required to do a one-time registration of drones, pilots and owners. For every flight (except nano drones), users will be required to ask for permission to fly through a mobile app, and an automated process will permit or deny the request instantly. 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.”
Specific “no-drone zones” have been identified, as areas around airports, near the international border, Vijay Chowk in New Delhi, state secretariat complexes in state capitals, and strategic locations and vital military installations.