Drone Legalization in India
It’s been a while now and people are still in dilemma whether it’s legal to have a drone or not. So, the answer is Yes, you can own a drone now, but as per the guidelines provided by the Director-General of Civil Aviation( DGCA). If you are really into drones read this article till the end, It will help you to understand the procedure and guidelines for having a drone.
So, there are 5 categories in which DGCA has divided the Remotely Piloted Aircraft(RPA) under the maximum all-up-weight(including the payload):
(i). Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams
(ii). Micro: Between 250 grams-2kg
(iii). Small: Between 2 kg – 25 kg.
(iv). Medium: Between 25 kg -150 kg.
(v). Large: More than 150 kg.
So, from here you can assess in which category you drone lies.
Now before starting with the registration let’s discuss two important terms; Unique Identification Number(UIN) and Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP)
Unique Identification Number: UIN number provides a unique identity to your drone and it will help DGCA to locate and monitor your drone. Except for the nano category all the other categories have to apply for it. So, before applying for the registration, you have to apply for the UIN and along with that, you must be a citizen of India.
You can go for this link to register for UIN
For UIN you need some supporting documents:
1. Equipment Type Approval(ETA) from the vendor
2. NPNT Compliance & CoC from Manufacturer
3. Specifications of RPA
4. Fee Receipt
5. Security Clearance from Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) or 2 Valid ID Proofs
6. Other details specified in CAR
And with that, you have to pay a registration fee of INR 1000 to get a UIN.
Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit: After you are done with your UIN number, you have to apply for UAOP through Digital Sky Platform Except for the nano RPA, micro RPA and RPA owned and operated by the NTRO, ARC and Central Intelligence agencies. and with that, you have to pay a registration fee of Rs 25,000 to this link https://bharatkosh.gov.in/ to get your UAOP.
For nano drones, you don’t need to apply for any kind of registration or UIN, You can fly them up to 50ft in a closed premise straight away. But for micro and above categories, operators and pilots are required to register on the Digital Sky Portal.
How to register into digital sky portal?
Follow these steps:
1. Click on this link https://digitalsky.dgca.gov.in and select the category and role for which you are applying.
So, basically there are 3 roles for which you can register.
(i). Remote Pilot: To become an RP you must have a Remote Pilot Certificate from DGCA.
(ii). Operator: Being an operator you need an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit(UAOP).
iii). Manufacturer: As a manufacturer, you need an IT Act-compliant digital certificate to register your self.
2. Choose your role and click on the apply button and fill your credentials for signing up to sky platform.
3. You will receive a verification mail from DigiSky Team. Verify it and choose your profile.
There are 4 profiles:
(i). Remote pilot profile: In this profile, you have to fill your basic information like mobile number, DOB, etc. Then upload your training certificate and choose an RPA category like nano, micro, small, etc and submit the form.
(ii). Individual operator profile: Fill the basic information.
(iii). Operator Profile: Fill the organization details like name, address, email, etc. and submit the form.
(iv). Manufacturer Profile: Fill the form with organization name, address, etc and upload your IT Act-compliant digital certificate and submit the form.
Now that you have registered yourself you need to remember some rules and guidelines:
- Do not fly your drone over densely populated areas or large crowds.
- Respect others privacy while using your drone.
- Do not fly your drone within 5km of airports or in areas where aircraft are operating.
- You must fly during daylight hours and only in good weather conditions.
- Do not fly your drone in sensitive areas which include government or military facilities.
- You must be at least 18 years old and have completed a training course.
- All drones must be equipped with a license plate identifying the operator, and their contact details.
- You must only fly your drone within visual line of sight.
- You cannot fly more than one UAV at a time.
- Do not fly your drone within 50km of a border.
- Do not fly your drone more than 500 meters into the sea, from the coastline.
- Do not fly within 5km of Vijay Chowk in Delhi.
- Do not fly over national parks or wildlife sanctuaries.
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