This article provides an overview of the drone laws in India, offering valuable information for individuals who are interested in flying drones in the country. According to India’s national aviation authority, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, flying a drone is legal in India, but there are certain regulations and restrictions that drone operators must be aware of and comply with. The article outlines the general rules for flying a drone in India, including the requirement for registration and permits, limitations on altitude and flight areas, and the necessity of maintaining visual line of sight while flying. Additionally, the article highlights India’s unique “No Permission, No Takeoff” policy, which requires drone pilots to seek permission via a mobile app before each flight. As regulations in the drone industry are subject to change, the article encourages readers to stay updated and informed.
Drone Laws in India
India has specific regulations in place for flying drones within its borders. It is important for drone operators to familiarize themselves with these laws to ensure safe and legal operation. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of drone laws in India, including regulations, travel considerations, general rules for flying drones, drone categories, required equipment, and information about India’s No Permission, No Takeoff policy.
India Drone Regulations
India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation is the national aviation authority responsible for regulating drone operations. The first Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) for drones were announced on August 27, 2018, and went into effect on December 1, 2018. These regulations outline the rules and guidelines that drone operators must adhere to when flying in India. For a detailed understanding of these regulations, one can read the full ruling on India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) website.
Special Travel Considerations
It is important to note that foreigners are currently not allowed to fly drones in India. However, if a foreigner wishes to engage in commercial drone operations, they have the option to lease the drone to an Indian entity. The Indian entity will then obtain a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) from the DGCA. For specific inquiries regarding travel and drone regulations, individuals can contact the Ministry of Civil Aviation directly.
General Rules for Flying a Drone in India
To ensure safe and legal drone operations in India, there are several general rules that drone operators must follow. Firstly, all drones, except those in the Nano category, must be registered and issued a Unique Identification Number (UIN). Additionally, a permit is required for any commercial drone operations, with the exception of drones in the Nano category flown below 50 feet and those in the Micro category flown below 200 feet. Drone pilots must maintain a direct visual line of sight with their drones at all times during flight. Furthermore, drones cannot be flown above 400 feet vertically and are prohibited in designated “No Fly Zones,” which include areas near airports, international borders, certain government establishments, and military installations. Permission must be obtained to fly in controlled airspace by filing a flight plan and obtaining a unique Air Defense Clearance (ADC)/Flight Information Center (FIC) number.
Drone Categories in India
Drone operations in India are categorized based on the weight of the drone. The categories are as follows:
- Nano category: Drones weighing equal to or less than 250 grams (.55 pounds).
- Micro category: Drones weighing between 250 grams (.55 pounds) and 2kg (4.4 pounds).
- Small category: Drones weighing between 2kg (4.4 pounds) and 25kg (55 pounds).
- Medium category: Drones weighing between 25kg (55 pounds) and 150kg (330 pounds).
- Large category: Drones weighing more than 150kg (330 pounds).
Required Drone Equipment in India
India has specific requirements regarding the equipment that drones must have to be flown within its borders, excluding drones in the Nano category. These requirements include GPS return-to-home (RTH) capability, anti-collision lights, an identification plate, a flight controller with flight data logging capability, RF ID, and SIM/No Permission No Takeoff (NPNT). It is important for drone operators to ensure that their drones meet these requirements before flying in India.
India’s No Permission, No Takeoff Policy
India has implemented a No Permission, No Takeoff (NPNT) policy for drone operations. According to this policy, drone pilots are required to request permission to fly through a mobile app. The request is processed automatically, and the pilot will receive either approval or rejection. If a drone pilot attempts to fly without receiving permission from the Digital Sky Platform, their drone will be unable to take off. This policy is aimed at ensuring safe and regulated drone operations in India. The Digital Sky Platform and further details about the NPNT policy can be found on the DGCA website.
For more information on India’s drone laws
For detailed information on drone regulations in India, individuals can visit the DGCA website. The website provides comprehensive information about the regulations, procedures for registration and permission requests, and updates on any changes to the drone laws. Additionally, individuals can contact the DGCA via email for any specific inquiries they may have.
In conclusion, drone operators in India must be aware of and comply with the drone laws and regulations outlined by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the DGCA. By adhering to these laws, drone operators can ensure safe and legal operation of their drones in India’s airspace.