Now You Can Fly Drones In India (Except These 12 Locations)

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The Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced the first drone policy of India which makes flying Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) or the drones in the layman’s terms legal. In November’17, it was mentioned that the draft regulations those belonging to the drones which have now been finalized. The Directorate General of Civilian Aviation had banned the use of drones by the civilians but those changes took place from 1st of December.

The newly drafted National Drone Policy would become effective from 1st of December, 2018 and the several rules and regulations would be attached for the pilot. The most interesting aspect is the list of places where you are not allowed to fly a drone in India.


National Drone Policy: Major Highlights

  • Drone operators would need a license to fly a drone, and it will cost Rs 25,000.
  • A UIN or Unique Identification number is required for every drone which is flying, and it will cost Rs 1000 to get one
  • Pilots or operators of drones will need to clear tests, related to the rules and regulations of flying a  Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
  • The pilot needs to be at least class 10th pass, and 18+ years of age.
  • The process to apply for a license would be automated, and completely digital.
  • During day-time, drones can be flown till 400 feet and should be visible by the drone operator.
  • The rule about the visibility of drones can be relaxed later on.
  • Drones have been divided into 5 categories, based on the weight. Drones from 250 grams to 2 kgs won’t be requiring any license or permission to fly. But drones beyond that weight will need a permit, for every flight.
  • Drones flying in controlled airspace will require a flight plan and Air Defence Clearance (ADC) /Flight Information Centre (FIC) number for every flight.

Here Are The Places Where You Cannot Fly A Drone In India

Under ‘Operating Restrictions’, Govt. has mandated that drones cannot be flown in these 12 locations:

  • Within 5 kms from the perimeter of airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad
  • Within 3 kms from the perimeter of any defense, civil and private airport (other than the list mentioned above)
  • Above the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) or PANS-OPS surfaces, whichever is lower of an operational aerodrome. The list is updated by Ministry of Civil Aviation (Height Restrictions for Safeguarding of Aircraft Operations) Rules, 2015 via  Gazette of India notification GSR751(E)
  • Within any permanent or temporary Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas including TRA, and TSA, as notified in AIP
  • Within 25 kms from International Border, which includes Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL)
  • Beyond 500 meters (coastal) into the sea from a coastline
  • Within 3 kms from the perimeter of any military installations, facilities
  • Within 5 kms from the radius of Vijay Chowk in Delhi
  • Within 2 kms from the radius of strategic locations, as specified by Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Within 3 kms from the radius of  State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals
  • Drones won’t be allowed from a mobile platform like moving vehicle, ship or aircraft
  • Over eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries notified by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change without prior permission.

For more details and specific information, you can find the entire Drone Policy (37 pages) right here.


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