Weeks after Jammu air base attack, India releases draft drone policy | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Weeks after Jammu air base attack, India releases draft drone policy

By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jul 15, 2021 12:33 PM IST

The contours of a comprehensive drone policy was discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month in the wake of drone attack at Jammu air force station and sightings of more unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in the region.

The ministry of civil aviation on Thursday released the draft drone rules, 2021 for public consultation. The deadline for public comments on the draft is August 5.

The Centre has invited public comments on the draft drone rules till August 5.(Reuters/ File photo)
The Centre has invited public comments on the draft drone rules till August 5.(Reuters/ File photo)

"Built on a premise of trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive monitoring, the Drone Rules, 2021 will replace the UAS Rules 2021 (released on 12 March 2021)," the ministry said in a release.

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The key approvals cleared by the Centre in the new drone rules include abolition of approvals for certain criteria, reduction of forms to six from 25 and relaxation in granting permission.

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The ministry said that it has reduced the fees to nominal levels, and it now has no linkage with the size of the drone. "Safety features like 'No permission - no take-off (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc to be notified in future. A six-month lead time will be provided for compliance," it further said.

"Digital sky platform shall be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system. There will be minimal human interface on the digital sky platform and most permissions will be self-generated," the aviation ministry said in the release.

The government has removed the requirement for pilot licence for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drone and for R&D organisations, and relaxed restrictions on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.

Some of the other key takeaways include no security clearance before any registration or licence issuance, increased coverage of drones from 300 kg to 500 kg to cover drone taxis and easier process for transfer and deregistration of drones.

"The maximum penalty under has been reduced to 1 lakh," the ministry said, adding that drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.

The contours of a comprehensive drone policy was discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month (June 29) in the wake of drone attack at Jammu air force station and sightings of more unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in the region.

Discussions were also held on emerging security threats and futuristic challenges facing the country.

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