Drones for civilian purposes are likely to start flying in India from October onwards, a senior official said, as the Civil Aviation Ministry expects to soon put in place the regulatory framework for unmanned aerial vehicles.
The use of drones by civilians is currently restricted by aviation regulator DGCA.
Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said the ministry is working on putting in place a system wherein registration and flying permission for civilian drones are done online.
“We are working on the system for online registration of drones for civilian purposes. The online registration as well as granting flying permission will start from October… Drones for civilian purposes will start flying from October onwards,” he told PTI.
At present, aircraft rules do not cover use of drones as well as their sale and purchase. In October 2014, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had restricted use of drones and unmanned aircraft system by civilians.
In November 2017, the ministry came out with draft norms for operating drones for civilian purposes.
According to the draft regulations, drones would require unique identification numbers while nano drones — those weighing below 250 grams — would be exempt from seeking one-time approval.
Various restrictions have been proposed to ensure that the drones are used only for valid purposes. There would be ‘no drone zones’ that includes 50 kilometres from the international border.
A 13-member task force, headed by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, is in the process of preparing a roadmap for the implementation of unmanned aerial vehicle technology.
The task force would prepare a roadmap, including “outcomes, timelines, implementation & review mechanism and measurable metrics” for the implementation of UAV technology. Besides, the role of the industry would be clearly delineated, the ministry had said in a release in April.