New drone rules 2021 have recently been notified by the central government. It can be said that these rules are much more liberalized for unmanned aircraft systems than what existed previously. Under these new rules, many requirements and approvals are nullified for the draft which was released in July. This has helped civilian drone operators as it can make drone operations simpler.
Talking about the changes that regulated drone operations, the number of forms that were to be filled has now reduced to 5 from 25. In addition to this, the number of fees that have to be paid before one can operate drones has been reduced to just 4 from 72 and one has to go through various approval. The approvals include unique authorization number, certificate of manufacturing and airworthiness, unique prototype identification number, certificate of maintenance certificate of conformance acceptance of existing drones import clearance authorization of R & D organization operator permit student remote pilot license drone port authorization remote pilot instructor authorization have been now prohibited.
Also adding to this list, one used to a quantum of fees, which earlier actually depended upon the size of the drone, has been now reduced and it is now not dependent upon the size of the drone. Let’s take an example for this, earlier one has to pay rupees 3000 as the remote pilot license fee for a big size drone. But as the fees are reduced it has been now reduced to rupees hundred and amazingly this fee is applicable for all the categories of the drone.
It was also cleared by the civil aviation ministry that for all the clearances that are required the digital sky platform will be developed and it will be considered as a single-window platform for these clearances. In addition to this, three zones will be shown on an interactive airspace map which will be displayed on the platform. The three zones will be differentiated as yellow, green, and red. Now the use of these seasons is will indicate the drone operators the places where their aircraft systems are allowed to fly and also the places where they cannot fly their aircraft systems. The government has also liberalized some rules in these zones. For example, let’s take the yellow zone. Earlier the 45 km zone from the airport perimeter was marked as a yellow zone which has been now reduced to a 12 km zone. This means that inside the 12-kilometer zone the drone operators will need permission to fly but outside the 12 km radius of the airport perimeter, that area will be considered as a green zone where it is not necessary to take any permission and the drone operators can make their aircraft system fly without any permission.
Now along with these rules, the government has also made some security changes. Earlier one needs to do a security clearance before issuing the registration or license. But now the government has taken some measures and has done with this need of clearance. Amazingly foreign ownership has also been allowed by the government for the companies that operate drones. It is important to note that if a drone is imported then it has to be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
Now this change in the rules for civilian drones has made things easier for drone operators and it has made clear paths to allow operations of such drones. As the government has allowed the use of drones at the same time the government also concentrates on full security and has ensured security from varlet drones. These draft rules were announced back in July but then a drone attack incident took place in Jammu at an Indian Air force base just a week after announcing the rules. So this time the government ensured full security and reduced some regulations too.