‘Centre responded to stakeholders’ suggestions to change drone policy’

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on September 18, 2021

Forms and fees reduced drastically: Civil Aviation official

The changes and the new framework in India’s new drone policy were executed quick time to tap the potential in this segment and also to support the numerous start-ups that were working on disruptive business models, according to a senior official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

In March, the Ministry had published the UAS Rules, 2021. They were perceived by academia, start-ups, end-users and other stakeholders as being restrictive as they involved considerable paperwork, required permissions for every drone flight and very few “free to fly” green zones were available.

Based on the feedback, the Government decided to repeal the UAS Rules, 2021 and replace them with the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021. “In this government, the Drone Rule, 2021 was the first to be repealed. We have the humbleness to say, ‘yes, we made a mistake’,” Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Civil Aviation, said at a virtual media interaction on the new Drone Policy, 2021 and the PLI scheme for drones and components..

Forms, fees reduced

The number of forms was reduced to 5 from 25 and the types of fees to 4 from 72. No permission is required for operating drones in the green zone — airspace up to a vertical distance of 400 ft that has not been designated as a red or yellow zone in the airspace map; and the airspace up to a vertical distance of 200 ft above the area located between a lateral distance of 8 and 12 km from the perimeter of an operational airport.

The yellow zone was reduced to 12 km from 45 km from the airport perimeter. No remote pilot licence is required for micro (for non-commercial use) and nano drones.

“If we don’t support the start-ups, all of them will run away. They should spend more time in the labs than in various forms or at various ministries. The vision is clear that India has the potential of becoming a global drone hub by 2030,” he said.

Published on September 18, 2021

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