New Drone Rules 2021 Notified: Licence Regulations Eased

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Under the new drone policy no security clearance is required before any registration or licence issuance for drones.

The requisite fees for permissions have also been reduced to nominal levels.

The government has notified the national drone policy to replace the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules 2021.

The Drone Rules 2021 make it significantly easier for people and companies in the country to now own and operate drones since under the new drone policy, no security clearance is required before registration of licence issuance.

The new drone policy envisages no security clearance required before any registration or licence issuance for drones. The requisite fees for permissions have also been reduced to nominal levels.

Under the Drone Rules 2021, the coverage of drones increased from 300 kg to 500 kg, and will include heavy payload-carrying drones and drone taxis.

We are going to ensure drone application in transportation, logistic, defence, mining, infrastructure sectors, and more. It will provide more jobs. Our aim is to make India a global drone hub by 2030," Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said at a press conference.

Scindia further said that currently, there are around 200 startups that are part of the drone ecosystem in India and that there is a possibility that something similar to drone taxis are launched in India under the new drone policy.

The rules have abolished the requirement of various approvals, including certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permits, authorisation of R&D organisation and student remote pilot licence.

No flight permission will be required up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter, according to the government.

The rules have also prescribed easier processes for the transfer and deregistration of drones.

No pilot licence will be required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drones and for research and development organisations.

Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries, and a drone promotion council will be set up to facilitate a drone-friendly regulatory regime in the country, according to the rules.

The rules also stated that there would be no restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.

Digital sky platform will be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.

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