Daily News Analysis

Drone Rules

8th January, 2022 Economy

Figure 3: No Copyright Infringement Intended


  • In a nationwide programme to take the third eye to the sky, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has called for more effective utilization of drone applications. 

Drone rule 2021

  • Security Clearance: Eliminates the need for drone operators to obtain security clearance before registering or applying for a license.
  • Foreign Companies: Companies registered in India are permitted to import and operate drones and their parts and are regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
  • Abbreviated clauses: Removed airworthiness certificate, unique identification number, pre-approval, and remote pilot license requirements for companies engaged in drone research and development (R & D). Pilot licenses are not required to operate non-profit micro drones, nano drones, and R & D organizations that use such drones.
  • Form and charge reductions: The number of forms has also been reduced from 25 to 5, and the charge types have been significantly reduced from 72 to 4. The fee amount has been reduced to the nominal level and separated from the size of the drone.
  • Drone Coverage: Increased from 300kg to 500kg to cover drone taxis, the issuance of airworthiness certificates has been delegated to the Indian Quality Council and its authorized certification
  • Drone Corridor Development: MoCA will also promote the development of drone corridors for freight transport, and a drone promotion council will be established to promote a business-friendly regulatory system.
  • Airspace map: The Drone Rule 2021 draft also provides an interactive airspace map that includes the green, yellow, and red zones displayed on the Digital Sky Platform.
    • The Yellow Zone has been removed from the nearby airport site from 45km to 12km,
    • They do not need a flight permit of up to 400 feet in the Green Zone and up to 60 feet 8-12 km from the airport area.
  • Digital Sky Platform: This is MoCA's initiative to provide a secure and scalable platform that supports drone technology frameworks such as NPNT (no permit, no launch), digitally enabling flight permits, streamlining unmanned flight operations and traffic. Manage.
    • The Digital Sky platform has also been developed as a business-friendly one-window online system that minimizes human interference and self-generates most privileges.


  • Various uses: Use of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance, situation analysis, crime management, VVIP security, disaster management, etc.
  • Significant Benefits: Drones have brought significant benefits to almost every economic sector, including defense, agriculture, law enforcement, and mapping.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: Drone rules were introduced in 2021 as part of an initiative to make India a global hub for drones under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • Medical use: Delivery of medicines, collection of samples from remote or epidemic / pandemic affected areas by the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Real-time monitoring: The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has been asked to fly drones for pollutant assessment and evidence gathering, including real-time monitoring of facilities and transmission lines, anti-theft, visual inspection / maintenance, construction planning and management.
  • Innovation: Very useful for startups and young people working in the industry. It will open up innovation and business opportunities.

Problem / issue

  • Clear Working Profile: Accountability and division of labor must be clear about who (military or civilian army) is responsible for such a mechanism. This is not a tactical threat, but it requires a strategic response.
  • Financing: Government funding is a problem. Large-scale production and use requires a large amount of money and strategy.
  • Difficult to distinguish: Counter-strategies must be strong enough to distinguish between birds and real drones. They also need to give enough warning to make sure it is not a shooting bird.
  • Easy access: It's cheap, so anyone can easily access it.
  • Anonymity: Anonymity is a great risk to know the origin of the drone. Drone attacks can also be launched internally.
  • Swarm drone: Many drones overwhelm and confuse the detection system, and some drones infiltrate.


Way Forward

  • Government's Bold Approach: The Civil Aviation Authority's decision to liberalize drone policy even after the recent drone incident in Jammu shows the government's bold approach to promoting the use of drones.
  • Fighting Threats: Focuses on counter drone technology development to fight the threats posed by fraudulent drones.


Types of Zones:

  • Green Zone: Airspace over land or territorial waters of India, or Vertical distances of 400 feet or 120 meters and 200 feet or 60 meters at a lateral distance of 12 from the perimeter of the operating airport.
  • Yellow Zone: Flying in this zone requires the prior approval of your Air Traffic Control Authority. This includes airspace above the vertical distance specified by the green zone.
  • Red Zone: The use of UAVs is prohibited unless only permitted by the central government.