Flying drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) has become legal from December 2018 when Director General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) new drone policy came into effect. Following are its elements:
Which type of drone needs registration?
The new policy called 'Drone Regulations 1.0’ says that every unmanned aerial vehicle that weighs above 250 gm (below this weight, it is nano drone) has to register on digital sky platform and take prior permission before every flight.
What are some uses of drones?
Ministry of Civil Aviation has defined drones as a technology platform that has wide-ranging application from photography to agriculture, from infrastructure asset management to insurance. Drones range in size from very small and those that can carry multiple-kilograms of payload.
What is UIN?
Except Nano drones, the rest would have to be registered and issued an unique identification number (UIN).
What is Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP)?
UAOP is a permit required by the owners of the drones to fly them. It can be obtained from the Director General of Civil Aviation. However, in the following cases this permit isn't required.
What is Digital Sky Platform?
All drone operations will have to be approved by Digital Sky Platform. The Digital Sky Platform is a unique unmanned traffic management (UTM) system which is expected to facilitate registration and licensing of drones and operators in addition to giving instant (online) clearances to operators for every flight.
What are the Restrictions?
Drones will only be allowed to fly during the day time and within the "visual line of sight".
The regulation defines areas around airports, near international border, Vijay Chowk in Delhi, State Secretariat Complex in state capitals, strategic locations and vital military installations as no-drone zones. Drones can also not fly near "permanent or temporary Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas" and eco-sensitive zones.