Drone is a layman terminology for Unmanned Aircraft (UA). There are three subsets of Unmanned Aircraft,
RPAS is one subset of UAS. A remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), its associated remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links and any other components, as specified in the type design. Civil RPA is categorized in accordance with MTOW (including payload) as indicated below:
|i)||Nano||:||Less than or equal to 250 grams.|
|ii)||Micro||:||Greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg.|
|ii)||Small||:||Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.|
|iv)||Medium||:||Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.|
|v)||Large||:||Greater than 150 kg.|
It is an online IT platform developed for handling UIN, Remote pilot licences applications, permission to fly drones in India, etc. To access it, click here.
Roles & responsibilities of govt. stakeholders on various aspects of operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft system
|1.||Directorate General of Civil Aviation||
|2.||Directorate General of Foreign Trade||
|3.||Ministry of Home Affairs||
|4.||Ministry of Defence||
|5.||Indian Air Force||
|6.||Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, DoT||
|6.||Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, DoT||
|7.||Bureau of Civil Aviation Security||
|8.||Airport Authority of India||
|9.||Local Police Office||
NPNT or ‘No Permission – No Take-off” is a software programme that enables every RPA (except Nano) to obtain a valid permissions through digital sky platform before operating in India. Please contact your OEM/ Manufacturer for complying with this requirement.
Controlled airspace is airspace of defined dimensions within which ATC services are provided.
Uncontrolled airspace is airspace where an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service is not necessary or cannot be provided for practical reasons.
ETA from WPC Wing is required for all wireless equipment working in de-licensed frequency band(s) in India. Ensure to get ETA from the seller or manufacturer of RPA which is required to be uploaded while applying for UIN.
Drones are restricted items and can’t be carried in hand baggage.
Instructions for filing all applications online is available in https://digitalsky.dgca.gov.in/home,
Foreigners are currently not allowed to fly drones in India. For commercial purpose, they need to lease RPAS to an Indian entity who in-turn will obtain Unique Identification Number (UIN) and remote pilot licence from DGCA.
UIN is unique identification number issued by DGCA for a particular RPA (except Nano).
You will be prompted for payment through payment Gateway in the Digital Sky Platform.
The link for paying the fees is https://bharatkosh.gov.in/.You need to mention the transaction receipt number and upload copy of the payment receipt in Digital Sky Platform at the time of your application.
After you have been issued with UIN for a particular drone; engrave it on a fire resistant plate and firmly affix on your drone. Ensure the number remains affixed to the aircraft during routine handling and all operating conditions and is readily accessible and legible upon close visual inspection.
For Nano, no UIN is required. However, for micro category and above, UIN is required.
UAOP is Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit.
All operators other than exempted categories mentioned below are required to obtain UAOP from DGCA:-
Same format is used for issue /renewal of remote pilot licence through Digital Sky app. However, please note you will need fresh security clearance from MHA.
The operator of all RPA except Nano RPA will notify any incident/accident involving RPA to the Director of Air Safety, DGCA through Digital Sky Platform.
Please lodge FIR immediately in local police and report occurrence in Digital Sky along with a copy of FIR.
No. The operator has to apply for fresh UIN.
RPAS if issued with UIN, cannot be transferred or disposed-off without permission from DGCA. You are required for cancellation of UIN and the buyer has to apply for fresh UIN through Digital Sky Platform.
Foreign Entity has to lease their RPAS to the Indian Entity. The Indian entity shall apply for UIN and UAOP. Remote Pilot (if a foreign national) should be security cleared. Foreigners are currently not allowed to fly drones in India.
Nano RPA (less than 250 gm) is exempted from obtaining UIN and UAOP. Please ensure not to fly it beyond 50 ft (15m) AGL. Also, ensure you are not flying in controlled airspace and no other manned or unmanned aircraft is flying nearby. If operations to be done in controlled airspace you need to apply for UIN, UAOP and your RPA shall be NPNT complaint. It is recommended to fly in uncontrolled airspace/ enclosed premises and go through Do’s and Don’ts every time before you fly.
If you have a micro drone, flying within enclosed premises and below 200ft then; you need to apply for UIN and to intimate local police before operating your drone. You will require UAOP and NPNT if you are flying in controlled airspace.
Also ensure, no other manned or unmanned aircraft is flying nearby.
Not allowed as of now.
Not allowed as of now.
No, as of now but you need to undergo minimum training requirements specified in the Civil Aviation Requirements on “Requirements for Operation of Civil RPAS”.
All individuals / operators (except Nano), shall maintain records of each RPA flight records and should be produced on demand by DGCA.
All RPA holders shall maintain maintenance records and, should be able to produce on demand by DGCA.
Flying drone upto 400 ft. AGL and visual line of sight are allowed. However, you need to have the following equipment installed on your drones:
a) GNSS (GPS) for horizontal and vertical position fixing.
b) Autonomous Flight Termination System or Return Home (RH) option.
c) Flashing anti-collision strobe lights.
d) RFID and GSM SIM Card/ NPNT compliant for APP based real time tracking.
e) Fire resistant identification plate inscribed with UIN.
f) Flight Controller with flight data logging capacity.
g) SSR transponder (Mode ‘C’ or ‘S’) or ADS-B OUT equipment.
h) Barometric equipment with capability for remote sub-scale setting.
i) Geo-fencing capability.
j) Detect and Avoid capability.
SOP or standard operating procedure is a catalogue of procedures that is agreed between prospective UAOP holder and DGCA for safe operation of drones in India.
Generally 450m (unaided) in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) with a minimum ground visibility of 5 km.
All drone operations are restricted to day light and within visual line of sight. However, if you are shooting in well-lit enclosed premises using micro drone upto 200 ft. AGL is allowable. Ensure your drone is NPNT compliant and issued with UIN. Also, you need to inform local police before flying.
Ensure that you follow Do’s and Don’ts and respect individuals’ privacy.
No. But there is no harm in keeping your local police office informed. In addition, please go through Do’s and Don’ts before flying your Nano drone each time.
RPAS can be used for agricultural purpose except for the purpose of spraying pesticides until specifically cleared.
Carriage of explosives, animal or human payload are not allowed at this instance. Nevertheless, you can test your drones with dummy on any of the test sites specified in the CAR.
Areas over which flying a drone is prohibited/ restricted. Please go through the list of no-drone zones in Civil Aviation Requirements.
You need to keep at least 25 km distance from international border which includes Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL).
Flying drone over no-drone zone is prohibited. However, DGCA may authorize such operations on case-to-case basis subject to approval of MoD.
DGCA may authorise such operation on case-to-case basis subject to adequate justification is provided by you for safe conduct of RPAS operation. Please note, DGCA may impose additional conditions for permitting such operations.
In addition, you may test your drone in the test sites specified in the Civil Aviation Requirements.
DGCA has not stipulated any requirement on minimum amount of insurance for any category of drone. It should be of an adequate amount to cover the risks, damages or other factors that is posed by operation of drone. Further, it is an agreement between the insurance company and you (the policy holder). A nano drone may operate without third party insurance.
You can lodge your grievance in www.pgportal.gov.in
You can file flight plan online through Digital Sky Platform. Procedure for filing flight plan is available in Digital Sky Manual. The link for the Digital Sky Platform/ Manual shall be available in www.dgca.nic.in, and it will be operational from 1st December, 2018.
Last Modified : 8/26/2021