Following the suit adopted by the developed nations for use of drones for various tasks, the Indian government has finally approved the use of commercial drones across various sectors which include health, agriculture, disaster relief, etc. These new regulations shall come into effect from 1st December 2018. However, the allowance has been limited to these sectors only. Opting to fly a drone for payload delivery such as food items shall not be feasible currently as defined by the regulations jotted down by the government.
Any civilian drones operating in the country shall be restricted for operations in the day time only. The flying will also be restricted amidst the visible distance which shall be no more than 450 meters. Except the nano drones along with the ones that are owned by the National Technical Research Organization as well as Central Intelligence Agencies, all other drones shall be registered with the issuance of UIN (Unique Identification Number).
Further, this regulation prevents any drone from being flown close to the airport, international borders, coastline, or the state secretariat buildings. Apart from that, the drones are barred from being operated in the strategic locations or any vital military installations along with Vijay Chowk located in Delhi. Further, the drones cannot be used in wedding photography as well. Suresh Prabhu, Civil Aviation Minister unveiled the new regulations for drones stating that these progressive regulations shall aptly encourage the drone industry that is made in India.
He further added that the relief works being organized for the flood ridden state Kerala could have been better and effective if the regulations were functioning currently. The drone market in India is expected in future to cross $1 trillion with these regulations in place.
Jayant Sinha, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation stated that with the boom in drone industry, we shall soon expand from traveling via auto rickshaws to the air rickshaws. Drones have wide array of applications with elements such as surveillance, disaster relief, security monitoring, precision logistics, and precision agriculture. Every drone flying in the country shall be registered with the use of “Digital Sky Platform”. The platform shall be connected to the local police which means if one doesn’t get permission for the same, he/she cannot take off.
However, the users that opt for flying nano drones have been exempted from the procedure of obtaining permission. A nano drone weight below 250 grams with flight height going till 50 feet.