The Ministry of Civil Aviation is all set to publish the new rules for drone use by August 15. These rules will replace the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules, 2021 that were released in March earlier this year. On July 15, the ministry released the updated Drone Rules, 2021 for public consultation, the deadline for which ends today.

Speaking to India Today Television, Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the head of drones division said, “After approval by the Law Ministry, it (rules) will go for publication in the Gazette of India. We are working hard to get this published by 15 Aug 2021.”

The ministry had earlier released simplified draft drone permission and use rules that were welcomed by industry players, who were apprehensive of tightened measures in the wake of the drone attack on Jammu air force station on June 27.

What Are The Proposed Rules?

The draft rules included the abolition of several approvals like unique authorisation numbers, certificate of conformance, proposed the development of the 'digital sky' platform as a business-friendly single-window online system, no pilot licence requirement for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drones and for R&D organisations.

As per the proposed rules, an interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones will be displayed on the digital sky platform. No flight permission will be required up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8km and 12 km from the airport perimeter.

Also, the yellow zone has been reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.

This interactive map will be displayed on the digital sky platform within 30 days of publication of the Drone Rules, 2021.

Also, the draft rules have proposed setting up drone corridors for cargo deliveries.

Speaking on the same, Joint Secretary Amber Dubey said, “Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) trials are on. The consortia carrying out the trials have to submit their proof of concept to DGCA after 100 hours of trial flights. Thereafter, draft regulations need to be framed.”

He added that these draft regulations are likely to be released for public consultation in October 2021.