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Drones to have unique identification numbers: Govt issues draft norms

Nano drones, those weighing below 250 grams, would be exempt from seeking one time approval, including the issuance of unique identification number.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2017 23:36 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Drones,Civil Aviation Ministry,Directorate General of Civil Aviation
There would be ‘no drone zones’ that includes 50 kilometres from the international border, the draft morm says.(Sakib Ali/HT File Photo)

A drone-delivered pizza, a view from the top of a friend’s beach wedding, quick delivery of medicines or even a ride — India could be doing it all in 2018.

The civil aviation ministry on Wednesday came out with proposals to legalise the commercial use of drones, which minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said was another step towards ease of doing business, an index where India jumped 30 places to 100 in a World Bank report released a day earlier.

Though used by the military, in India it is illegal to fly drones, now being used across the world for shooting videos, pictures and even drop aid or medical equipment.

Drones, which recently created a security scare at Delhi’s airport, have been categorised according to their weight – below 250gm to above 150kg -- and the ministry has proposed no-fly zones to address security concerns.

Drones will not be allowed near airports, coastline and international borders.

They would also not be permitted to fly over densely populated areas without approval and over areas affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway, a ministry statement said.

“Except for nano category and those operated by government security agencies, all other commercial categories of drones will be registered by the DGCA (directorate general of civil aviation), which will issue a unique identification number,” civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said. The nano category includes drones that weigh 250 grams or less.

The government has invited suggestion from public within 30 days and the norms could be in place by December 31.

For drones weighing more than two kilograms, operating permit, unique identification number and a remote pilot licence would be required.

These machines would also need an anti-collision device. The operator will have to submit a flight plan and the remote pilot will have to undergo training.

Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said the ministry would launch an app allowing companies to seek permission to use the flying machines.

To avoid a security situation, the home ministry is separately testing a technology to shoot down machines in the no-fly zones.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 18:20 IST