DIGITALSKY GUIDE: How to LEGALLY fly Drones in India?

Flying drones in India has become legal in India Starting December 1st. Ministry of Civil Aviation has finally started the registration of drones in India. The Registration will be done through the Digital Sky Platform.

Before December the use of unmanned drones was not controlled or supervised by any regulations or law, So on August 2018 the new rules regarding Drones were announced and on December 1st these rules were implemented. The new policy is called the Drone Regulation 1.0 which details about where, when and how you can fly a drone in India.

 

Foreigners are not allowed to fly Drones in India for commercial purposes. They must lease their drone to an Indian entity, they will then obtain the Unique identification ID from Digital Sky Platform.

This article will help you to get a clear idea about the rules and what you have to keep in mind before flying a drone in India.

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Drone Categorization and Rules:

Now there are 5 categories of drones in India. Each category has different rules depending upon how high you are going to fly the drone.

  1. Nano – Small drones which are less than or equal to 250 grams in weight.
  2. Micro – This category includes drones from 250 grams to 2KG.
  3. Small – The Small category includes drones from 2KG to 25KG
  4. Medium – Drones from 25KG to 150KG falls in this category.
  5. Large – The last category of drone includes drones which are greater than 150KG.

Now there are 6 general rules which you have to keep in mind before flying a drone in India

The first one requires you to have a Unique identification number that your drone will need. This rule applies to all drones except the drones which fall under the Nano category. You have to obtain the unique identification number by registering the drone online. Getting the Unique identification number is not free, you have to pay a fee of around Rs 1,000 and it will give you a label which you have to stick on your drone just a license plate on any vehicle.

The second rule requires you a permit when you are flying a drone above 200 feet in height and falls under the micro category.

The third rule is Line of Sight, you have to maintain your visual line of sight of the drone at all times when you are flying a drone. The drone should not go out of your line of sight.

The fourth rule limits you to fly a drone above 400 feet in height. You will need a permit and these permit will be very costly.

The fifth rule is most important restricts you to fly a drone in the No Fly Zones such as Airports, Military Base, International Borders, State Secretarial Buildings and State Capital, Strategic locations, and, Vijay Chawk in Delhi, India.

The sixth and the last rule is that you require a permission to fly the drone in the controlled airspace. You can get permission by filing a flight plan, getting an air defense clearance and an FIC number. This rules will not apply to most of the normal people who are going to fly a drone in the micro category.

You can further visit this link to get all the information about the things you will require in each category and the do’s and don’ts before legally flying a drone in India.

Requirements before flying a Drone in India:

Whatever drone you are going to fly, It must meet some requirements. It includes the drone to have a GPS, Return to Home, ID Plate, Flight Controller with flight data logging feature, and, Anti Collision Light.

These features are already out there in most of the popular drones like DJI. The last thing you must keep in mind is the No permission – No Takeoff Policy. Now before flying the drone every time you have to obtain permission from a mobile app. If you don’t get the permission then you cannot fly the drone.

The popular drones app like DJI will receive an update regarding this in future which will include the No Permission – No Takeoff policy. If you don’t get the permission then your App will not even let you take off the drone.

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Here’s how you can apply for Digital Sky:

Head over to DGCA Website by following the link given.

  • Now select “Drones Above 250 grams” because, under 250 grams, drones fall under Nano category. In Nano, category Drones doesn’t require any Permission or license to fly till 50 feet.
  • Now select Register as a Pilot and select your drone category from Micro and Small or Above. Click on Register button and it will open a new page where you can register yourself.
  • Now fill the form with basic details like Name, Email Address, Password and click on Signup.
  • Once you are signed up, there will be 4 profiles like Pilot, Individual, Operator, and Manufacturer. You have to click Pilot and select your drone category.

  • Now you will have 3 options like Apply for the local drone, import drone and, obtain a UAOP license. Proceed with Apply for local or Import drone depending upon how you got the drone. You will get an application which you have to fill and submit with the model number, the serial number of drone, drone type and the height where you want to fly the from at.
  • You will also need a Training certificate, for that proceed with UAOP License option.
  • After getting the training certificate, use the upload certificate button, Then after you have to fill all your basic profile details.
  • Once you have filled all your basic details and uploaded the training certificate, click on submit button.

Final Words:

We hope this article was helpful for you to understand the rules and regulation and keep in mind these are laws and violation of these laws will result in bad consequences and penalties. The last thing you must keep in mind that all the operations regarding drones will start from January 1st and you must not fly the drone before that.

Thank you for reading. If you have further queries, don’t forget to comment below. Keep following, we will be back with another interesting update very soon!

A college student who is passionate about technology and blogging. I love to try latest and greatest in the tech universe and has some experience covering latest tips, tricks and gadget reviews.

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