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Drone Rules, 2021: Important Points

Drone Rules, 2021:

In March 2021, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) published the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rules, 2021. Based on the feedback, the Government has decided to repeal the UAS Rules, 2021 and replace the same with the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021.

Key features of Drone Rules 2021:

  • Several approvals abolished: unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of manufacturing and airworthiness, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permit, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation, drone port authorisation etc.
  • Number of forms reduced from 25 to 5. Types of fee reduced from 72 to 4.
  • Quantum of fee reduced to nominal levels and delinked with size of drone.
  • Digital sky platform shall be developed as a user-friendly single-window system.
  • No permission required for operating drones in green zones. Yellow zone reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.
  • No remote pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use) and nano drones.
  • Drone promotion council to be set up by Government with participation from academia, startups and other stakeholders to facilitate a growth-oriented regulatory regime.