Airspace map of India
- Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched an airspace map of India for drone operations, which shows red, yellow and green zones across the country.
- It will allow civilian drone operators to check the demarcated no-fly zones or where they need to undergo certain formalities before flying one.
- Earlier, the 'Liberalised Drone Rules, 2021’ based on “trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring” was unveiled and also the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the drone industry was announced.
- Drone is a layman terminology for Unmanned Aircraft (UA). There are three subsets of UA- Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Autonomous Aircraft and Model Aircraft.
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft consists of remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links and any other components, as specified in the type design.
- Remotely piloted aircraft have been divided into five categories based on their weight (existing rules)
- Nano : Less than or equal to 250 grams.
- Micro : From 250 grams to 2kg.
- Small : From 2 kg to 25kg.
- Medium : From 25kg to 150kg.
- Large : Greater than 150kg.
- Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy.
- These include – agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence, and law enforcement to name a few.
- Drones can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.
- Recently, the Telangana government has selected 16 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) for pilot testing the ambitious ‘Medicine from the sky’, the first-of- its-kind project.
- The project involves delivery of medicines through multiple drones.
The Drone Rules, 2021:
- The aim of the Rules is to create a 'digital sky platform' (""the Platform"") which is a business-friendly single-window online system, with minimum human interference, where most of the permissions will be self-generated.
- The Rules have reduced the red-tape involved in the process of seeking compliance:
- Quantum of fee has been reduced to nominal levels and delinked with size of the drone.
- Easier process is specified for transfer and deregistration of drones through the digital sky platform.
- Nano and model drones (made for research or recreation purposes) are exempt from type certification.
- Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 has been increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also.
- Type Certificate is required only when a drone is to be operated in India. Importing and manufacturing drones purely for exports are exempt from type certification and unique identification number.
- Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.