The Aviation Ministry passes drone rules 2021 by ensuring ease of drones operation in india

The government had announced the new drone rules on July 15 and invited comments from stakeholders. Stakeholders came back with request for reducing the compliance burden by simplifiying procedures.

The government said in a Gazette notification, 
The Civil Aviation ministry has passed the new Drone Rules 2021 which will replace the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules 2021.

The government had announced the new drone rules on July 15 and invited comments from stakeholders and relevant industries till August 5th for simplifying procedures and reducing the compliance burden to operate a drone in India.

The new rules have been passed just a week after the government gave conditional permission to 10 organisations, including Mahindra and Mahindra, Steel Authority of India (SAIL), etc... to use drones for a period of one year.

The need for recomputing the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules 2021 issued just four months ago after lengthy consultations with stakeholders possibly reflects the drone community's disappointment with the older rules that threatened to drown the drones with over-regulation.

Under the Drone Rules 2021, the government has reduced the fee to operate a drone to nominal levels and de-linked from the size of the drone, the government said in a statement on August 25th.

The size and capacity of drones under Drone Rules 2021 has been increased from 300 kg to 500 kg for including heavy payload-carrying drone and drone taxi.

The government has also reduced the number of forms/permissions to operate a drone in India from "25 to 5" and also said that no security clearance will be required before any registration or licence issuance of a drone.

According to the Drone Rules 2021, operating drones without unique identification numbers will not be allowed, unless exempted. Drone operators will have to generate a unique identification number for a drone by providing requisite details on the digital sky platform.

The rules have abolished the requirement of various approvals, including certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permits, authorisation of R&D organisation and student remote pilot licence, 
No flight permission will be required up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter, as mentioned so by GOI.

The rules have also prescribed easier processes for the drone transfer and cancellation of registration.

No pilot licence will be required for micro drones, nano drones (for non-commercial use) and for R&D (research and development) organisations.

Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries and a drone promotion council will be set up to facilitate a stakeholders friendly regulatory regime in the country, according to the rules. Digital sky platform will be developed as a business friendly single window online system.

The rules also stated that there would be no restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.

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