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Civil aviation ministry releases updated draft drone rules to public

July 15, 2021: Ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has released the updated drone rules, 2021 for public consultation to replace the UAS Rules 2021 (released on March 12 2021). The last date for receipt of public comments is August 5, 2021.

The draft rules released today proposes the development of drone corridors for cargo deliveries.
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The draft rules released today proposes the development of drone corridors for cargo deliveries.

July 15, 2021: Ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has released the updated drone rules, 2021 for public consultation to replace the UAS Rules 2021 (released on March 12 2021). The last date for receipt of public comments is August 5, 2021.

The draft rules released today proposes the development of drone corridors for cargo deliveries.

"Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also," reads the release.

The draft rules have abolished approvals including unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clearance, acceptance of existing drones, operator permits, authorisation of R&D organisation, student remote pilot licence, remote pilot instructor authorisation, drone port authorisation etc.

The statement also reads, "Issuance of Certificate of Airworthiness delegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it. Manufacturers may generate their drone's unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.

The newly updated rules reduced the number of forms from 25 to 6 while the fee has been reduced to nominal levels with no linkage with the size of the drone. It has included safety features like 'No permission – no take-off' (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc. to be notified in future with a six-month lead time for compliance.

The new draft rules introduced the Digital sky platform to be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system with promises of minimal human interface and self-generated permissions. Digital sky platform will display green, yellow, and red zones interactive airspace map. They have also reduced the Yellow zone from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.

The document produced for public consultation dismissed permission requirements up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter. It has also removed the pilot licence requirement for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drones and for R&D organisations. DGFT will take care of the regulations of the import of drones and drone components.

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