The government recently introduced the “liberalised Drone Rules, 2021” and as part of the new rules The Ministry of Civil Aviation have introduced an online airspace map of India to help citizens know where they can fly their drones and what paperwork is required to fly drones in certain areas. The entire airspace map is marked in green, yellow and red zones and the interactive map is made by MapMyIndia. It is available for all on the Digital Sky website. The airspace map takes some time to load for the first time and gives a clear idea as to where you can fly your drone.
How to read the airspace map for drones
It goes without saying that the zones marked in Red cannot be accessed by civilians unless there is permission from the government and other concerned departments including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Indian Air Force and DGCA.
No permission required for operating drones in green zones. Green zone means the airspace up to a vertical distance of 400 feet or 120 metres has not been designated as a red zone or yellow zone in the airspace map. Green zone also includes airspace upto a vertical distance of 200 feet or 60 metre above the area located between a lateral distance of 8 and 12 kilometre from the perimeter of an operational airport.
On the other hand, the yellow zone is designated as the airspace above 400 feet or 120 metres inside a green zone and above 200 feet or 60 metres from a lateral distance of 8 and 12 kilometres from the perimeter of an operational airport. It also includes the airspace above ground level between 5 and 8 kilometres from the boundary walls of an airport.
In the new regulations, the yellow zone has been reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.
What about license requirements for flying drones
No remote pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use) and nano drones. Also, as per the new rules, no requirement for security clearance before issuance of any registration or licence.
“No requirement of Type Certificate, unique identification number and remote pilot licence by R&D entities operating drones in own or rented premises, located in a green zone,” the government had said in a statement earlier.
Remote pilot licence to be issued by DGCA within 15 days of pilot receiving the remote pilot certificate from the authorised drone school through the digital sky platform.
The government will regulate import of drones through DGFT and there’s no restriction on “foreign ownership” in Indian drone companies. Also, the requirement of import clearance from DGCA is now abolished.
Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 has been increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also. DGCA shall prescribe drone training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online.
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