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With draft rules, prospects of drones go skyhigh


The Indian air space is set to get more interesting in 2018, with the government issuing draft regulations for drone operations that could be used for anything from e-commerce deliveries to photography.

“The drone industry offers many advantages and can help development in several sectors such as agriculture, oil and gas. Goverment want to make India the world’s leader in drones and its applications, which is why Government have drafted a policy that allows unfettered use of drones while taking care of the unique security challenges they pose,”

The draft regulations, which Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey will be finalised by December 31 this year after hearing out stakeholders’ views, envisage a virtually unregulated flight at heights up to 50 feet for nano drones that weigh 250 grams or lower.

All drones will have to operate within a visual line of sight, will be allowed only during day time and below 200 feet.

Barring the nano drones that could also be used indoors, all drones will have to register with the Director General of Civil Aviation. Dropping human payload, animals or hazardous material will not be permitted, though it was possible to imagine air rickshaw drones that could ferry passengers.

The other classifications of drones, officially termed unmanned aircraft systems, are Micro (250 gm to 2 kg), Mini (more than 2 kg to 25 kg), Small (more than 25 kg till 150 kg) and Larger (over 150 kg).