The MoCA (ministry of civil aviation) released the UAV regulations, 2021 in march. They were used by Startups, end-users & other stakeholders as being limiting the scope because they involved substantial formalities, obligatory permissions for every UAV flight, and only some are “free to fly”.

According to the Government of India, UAV Rules, 2021 has been quashed and replaced with liberalized UAV regulations, 2021.

Unmanned Aircraft vehicles (UAV), well-known as drones, offer vast benefits to almost every sector of the economy like – agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence, and law enforcement etc.

Drones can be notable creators of employment and economic expansion due to their adaptability and user-friendliness, particularly in India’s remote and remote areas.

Because of its conformist strengths in modernism, information technology, frugal improvement and huge domestic requirement, India has to be expected global UAV centre by 2030. 

 Key features of UAV regulations 2021.          

  • Built on faith, self-assessment and non-disturbing observation.
  • Designed to assistant in an era of super-normal growth while balancing safety and security concerns.
  • Several approvals put an end: unique authorization number, certificate of manufacturing unique prototype identification number, and airworthiness, certificate of conformance, import clearance certificate of maintenance, acceptance of existing drones, authorization of R&D organization, operator permits, student remote pilot license, remote pilot instructor authorization, drone port authorization etc.
  • The no. of forms decreases from 25 to 5. 
  • Types of fees declined from 72 to 4. 
  • Quantum of fee declined to nominal levels and delinked with the size of UAV. Viz, the remote pilot license fee, has gone down from INR 3000 (for large drones) to INR 100 for all varieties of drones and is valid up to 10 years.
  • The growth of E- Platform will be a user-friendly single-window system with a low human interface, and most consent will be auto-generated.
  • Interactive airspace map with green, yellow and red zones shall be displayed on the E-Platform within 30 days of publication of these rules. 
  • No authorization is requisite for drones in green zones. Green zone is the airspace with a vertical distance that goes equal to 400 feet or 120 meters that has not been nominated as a red zone or yellow zone in the airspace chart. The airspace up to a vertical distance of 200 feet or 60 meters above the area positioned between a lateral distance of 8 and 12 kilometres from the perimeter of an operational airport.
  • Yellow zone compacted from 45 km to 12 km from the outer airport limits.
  • No remote pilot license is requisite for micro drones (for non-commercial use) and nano drones.
  • No prerequisite for security authorization before issuance of any registration or license.
  • There is no prerequisite of Type Certificate, exclusive identification number, and remote pilot license by R&D entities in commission drones in own or borrowed premises, positioned in a green zone.
  • No restraint on foreign possession in Indian drone companies. 
  • Import of drones to be synchronized by DGFT. 
  • Prerequisite of import authorization from DGCA abolished.
  • Exposure of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 amplified from 300 kg to 500 kg. This update will envelop drone taxis also.
  • DGCA shall recommend drone instruction requirements, watch over drone schools and provide pilot licenses online.
  • Remote pilot license to be issued by DGCA within 15 days of a pilot getting the remote pilot certificate from the certified drone school through the E-Platform.
  • Testing drones for issuance of Type Certificate is to be conceded out by the Quality Council of India or sanctioned testing entities. 
  • Type Certificate requisite only when a drone is to be operated in India. Importing and manufacturing drones purely for exports are let off from type certification and exclusive identification numbers. 
  • Nano and model drones (made for investigation or exercise purposes) are excused from type certification.
  • Manufacturers and importers may create their drones’ exclusive identification number on the E-Platform through the self-certification way.
  • The easier procedure specified for transfer and deregistration of drones through the E-Platform.
  • Drones in India on or before 30 Nov 2021 will be issued an exclusive identification number through the E-Platform provided. They have a DAN, a GST-paid invoice and are part of the list of DGCA-permitted drones. 
  • Standard operating procedures (SOP) and training procedure manuals (TPM) will be given by DGCA on the E-Platform for self-monitoring by users. No approvals are essential unless there is an important departure from the prearranged procedures.
  • Maximum fine for violations compact to INR 1 lakh. 
  • Safety and security features are similar to ‘No permission – no takeoff’ (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc., to be notified in future. A six-month escort time will be given to the industry for fulfilment.
  • Drone corridors will be urbanized for cargo deliveries.
  • The government will set up a drone promotion council with involvement from academia, startups, and other stakeholders to aid a growth-oriented narrow regime.