New Drone Policy announced; no security clearance required, permission fees reduced, others
In addition, the weight limit for drones has been raised from 300 kg to 500 kg in order to include heavy payload-carrying drones and drone taxis.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) published the guidelines for the drone sector on Thursday. The ministry, within whose purview the regulation falls, issued the regulations after making final adjustments to them. Several permissions are no longer required under the new rules.
The liberalised Drone Rules 2021 require no security clearance before registering or licencing drones. Permission fees have been reduced to nominal levels, and the maximum penalty has been reduced to Rs 1 lakh, which does not apply to penalties for violations of other laws. In addition, the weight limit for drones has been raised from 300 kg to 500 kg in order to include heavy payload-carrying drones and drone taxis.
An Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Promotion Council will be formed to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime that will promote the sector. The DGFT will control the import of such UAS (Directorate General of Foreign Trade). Drone corridors will also be created for cargo deliveries under Drone Rules 2021.
Calling it a 'landmark moment', Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter, and said: "The new Drone Rules usher in a landmark moment for this sector in India. The new rules will tremendously help start-ups and our youth working in this sector."
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) issued the UAS Rules, 2021, in March 2021. They were viewed as restrictive by academia, startups, end-users, and other stakeholders since they entailed significant paperwork, needed licences for every drone flight, and just a few “free to fly” green zones were accessible. Based on the input received, the government has decided to remove the UAS Rules, 2021 and replace them with the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021.