Govt Releases Draft Drone Rules For Public Consultation

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New Delhi: The Union Civil Aviation ministry on Thursday released the Draft Drone Rules, 2021, which will be open for public consultation before being notified to replace the Unmanned Aircraft System Rules.

Following a daring drone attack on the Indian Air Force base in Jammu last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently chaired a high-powered meeting to discuss a new policy for traffic management of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones.

Even on Wednesday and Thursday, suspected Pakistani drones were spotted along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu’s Pallanwala sector.

A number of rules have been relaxed in the draft. Approvals for unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permits, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation, drone port authorisation, etc, have been abolished, according to a Hindustan Times report.

The draft rules refer to an interactive airspace map with green, yellow and red zones for display on the Digital Sky, which is an online platform hosted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for management of drone-related activities in India.

Yellow zone has been reduced from 45 km to 12 km from airport perimeters.

Green zone refers to the airspace up to a vertical distance of 400 feet (120 metre) above ground level (AGL) that has not been designated as red or yellow zone.

Red zone refers to airspace of defined dimensions, above Indian land or water areas, or any installation or notified port limits specified by Union government beyond territorial waters of India within which drone operations shall be permitted in exceptional circumstances.

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