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Drone operation became easier in India, rules were relaxed, fines also reduced

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The Civil Aviation Ministry has eased the rules for operating drones in the country. The number of forms required to be filled for this has been reduced from 25 to five. Similarly, the number of types of charges to be charged from operations has been reduced from 72 to four.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that the new drone rules herald a historic moment for the sector in India. He said that these rules are based on trust and self-certification. Approvals, compliance requirements and barriers to entry have been significantly reduced.

He said that this would greatly help the start-ups and youth working in this field. According to him, this will open up new possibilities for innovation and business and will help leverage India’s strength in technology and engineering to make it a drone hub.

The Drone Rules, 2021 were issued on Wednesday. These new rules have replaced the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021 which came into force on March 12 this year.

New drone rules will revolutionize the logistics and transportation sector

At the same time, according to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the new drone rules will bring a revolution in the logistics and transport sector and will create a wave of change in sectors like agriculture, healthcare and mining. Scindia said the Defense and Home Ministries and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Securities are working together to develop and rapidly adopt technology to counter enemy drones.

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The need for various clearances in the rules has been done away with

As per the new rules, the fee has been reduced to a nominal level of Rs 100 and it has been dispensed with the size of the drone. The rules also do away with the need for various clearances, including certificate of conformity, maintenance certificate, import clearance, approval of existing drones, operator permit, research and development organization approval and student remote pilot license. According to the Drone Rules, 2021, other approvals such as Unique Authorization Number, Unique Prototype Identification Number and Manufacturing and Airworthiness Certificate etc. have also been done away with.

Permission to fly drone will not be required

According to the new rules, permission will no longer be required to fly drones up to 400 feet in green zones and 200 feet in an area between eight and 12 kilometers from the periphery of the airport. Green Zone means airspace up to a vertical distance of 400 feet that is not designated as Red Zone or Yellow Zone in airspace maps.

Pilot license not required

The rules state that no pilot license will be required for micro drones and nano drones for non-commercial use. Also, the maximum penalty for violation of rules has been reduced to one lakh rupees. Apart from this, there will be no restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in the country. The coverage of drones has been increased from 300 kg to 500 kg for heavy cargo drones and drone taxis. Now no security clearance will be required before registration or issuance of licence.

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