Friday, August 27, 2021

New drone rules make flying them easier and cheaper

New Delhi: The government on Thursday notified the Drone Rules 2021 with an aim to liberalise the stringent regime for civilian drone operations that it had established 2018, when these drones were allowed for the first time.

The regulations notified by the Civil Aviation Ministry have lowered entry barriers — including cutting the number of registration forms to be filled to five from 25, and the number of fees payable to four from 72 — to make it simpler for operators to start using drones.

Significantly, however, the restrictions on operations “beyond visual line-of-sight” (BVLOS) — in which there is considerable industry interest and potential for commercial operations — have not been lifted.

Draft liberalised drone Rules were put out by the government for consultations last month, weeks after the drone attack on the Indian Air Force station in Jammu.

“The new Drone Rules usher in a landmark moment for this sector in India. The rules are based on the premise of trust and self-certification. Approvals, compliance requirements and entry barriers have been significantly reduced,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.

“The new Drone Rules will tremendously help start-ups and our youth working in this sector. It will open up new possibilities for innovation & business. It will help leverage India’s strengths in innovation, technology & engineering to make India a drone hub,” he said.

The aviation safety regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had banned civilian drones in October 2014. More than four years later, the government had issued a set of rules to govern the operations of unmanned aircraft systems.

27/08/21 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express

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