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Ministry of Civil Aviation notifies liberalised Drone Rules, 2021

  • IASbaba
  • August 27, 2021
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Ministry of Civil Aviation notifies liberalised Drone Rules, 2021

Part of: GS Prelims 

In News:   Ministry of Civil Aviation notifies liberalised Drone Rules, 2021

Background:

  • In March 2021, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) published the UAS Rules, 2021 that were perceived by academia, Startups, end-users and other stakeholders as being restrictive in nature as they involved considerable paperwork, required permissions for every drone flight and very few “free to fly” green zones were available. 
  • Based on the feedback, the Government has decided to repeal the UAS Rules, 2021 and replace the same with the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021.
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy like – agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence, and law enforcement etc.  

Few of the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021

  • It has abolished several approvals like: unique authorization number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of manufacturing and airworthiness, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permit, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation, drone port authorisation etc.
  • The relaxation in New Drone Rules stipulates, no security clearance will now be required before any registration or license issuance for the operation of drones.
  • Interactive airspace map with green, yellow and red zones shall be displayed on the digital sky platform within 30 days of publication of these rules. 
  • No permission required for operating drones in green zones.  Green zone means the airspace up to a vertical distance of 400 feet or 120 metre that has not been designated as a red zone or yellow zone in the airspace map; and the airspace up to a vertical distance of 200 feet or 60 metre above the area located between a lateral distance of 8 and 12 kilometre from the perimeter of an operational airport.
  • Yellow zone reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.
  • No remote pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use) and nano drones.
  • No requirement for security clearance before issuance of any registration or licence.

Significance of the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021

  • The new rules will facilitate investments in drone technology in India and will aid in simplifying the process of registration.
  • By abolishing the restrictive practices and stringent license regime under the new Drone Rules by the government, it will offer flexibility to players in the sectors.
  • An airspace map on the digital sky platform will provide access to real-time updates for drone operation in India in various zones.

News Source: PIB

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