Centre proposes simpler drone rules

Fresh regulations abolish need for large number of approvals

July 15, 2021 02:58 pm | Updated 02:58 pm IST

The import of drones and drone components will be regulated.

The import of drones and drone components will be regulated.

NEW DELHI: Simplified drone rules, which abolish the need for a large number of approvals, are in the offing in the country.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday released Draft Drone Rules, 2021, for public consultation until August 5.

The rules will replace the Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021, notified on March 12, 2021.

The number of forms to be filled to seek authorisation before operating a drone has been reduced from 25 to six, according to a statement issued by the Ministry.

While most drones will need a unique identification number, a certificate of airworthiness, a remote pilot licence for the person controlling the drone and prior permission, no such approvals will be required for drones used for research and development by entities and educational institutions recognised by the Central government, State governments or Union Territory Administrations, start-ups recognised by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and drone manufacturers having a Goods and Service Tax Identification Number.

Unlike the previous rules, which required drone operators to have a principal place of business within India, and the chairman and at least two-thirds of its directors were required to be citizens of India, in the new proposed rules there are no such restrictions for foreign-owned companies registered in India.

However, import of drones and drone components will be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

Drones will also not need security clearance before registration or licence issuance.

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