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December onwards flying drones will be legal

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has released a policy regarding the use of drones for commercial purposes. The Ministry has allowed the use of drone technology from December 2018 subject to it being in the line of vision of the user. The government has also indicated that rules regarding the use of drones may be relaxed in the future. According to the policy, the users of micro and nano drones (weighing 250 gms to 2kgs), which are mostly children, do not require registration. However, all the other users of heavy drones (weighing up to 150 kgs) will require a registration and will be granted a Unique Identification Number (UIN). The minimum requirement for acquiring a drone license is 18 years of age with a 10th pass certificate and knowledge of English. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operators excluding Nano RPAS flying below 50 feet, RPAS operators flying below 200 feet, security and central agencies shall be required to obtain Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP). As per the policy, the RPAS will be granted a permit to be operated during the daylight only with a maximum altitude of 400 feet and to be flown within the line of vision of the user. The areas around the airports, near the international border, Vijay Chowk in Delhi, state secretariats in Capitals and strategic/military locations have been recognized as the “no-fly zones” in the policy. The Aviation Minister has stated that for now, the use of drones will be restricted to the visible line of sight but a task force will monitor the use of drones beyond the line of sight in future.

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