Everything to Know About Drone Laws In India

If you are a drone geek like me, you might be wondering about the rules, regulations, permits, and legalization in India. Being an Indian, I found it important to explore drone laws.

But, is it legal to fly drones in India? 

The good news is YES. According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, flying a drone is legal in India. Before you get happy, it is important to get through Indian drone regulations that are compiled and legalized. 

You must be thorough about the drone laws in India, how drones are categorized according to weight and size, and permit allowance. 

Let’s dive into this article and learn everything about drone laws in India. 

Drone Categories (Weight and Size)

Drones are categorized according to their weight and size similar to Fiji. When it comes to regulations of each drone category, we have different rules and permits for each of them!

Let’s know the size and weight of drones. 

  • Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams (.55 pounds)
  • Micro: From 250 grams (.55 pounds) to 2kg (4.4 pounds)
  • Small: From 2kg (4.4 pounds) to 25kg (55 pounds)
  • Medium: From 25kg (55 pounds) to 150kg (330 pounds)
  • Large: Greater than 150kg (33 pounds)

General Drone Laws in India

If you are flying a drone in India, it comes with a specific set of rules to keep everyone safe. Whether you are flying for fun or work, it is important to understand the basic rules and regulations. 

We have mentioned drone operation rules in India that cover everything from registering to flying permit zones in India. 

Here’s a quick rundown to help you fly right!

  • All drones, except the Nano ones, must be registered with a Unique Identification Number.

  • If you want to use drones for commercial operations, you’re expected to take a legal permit if you are flying above 50 feet.

  • It is requested that drone pilots maintain a direct visual line of sight while flying. 

  • Vertical flight of drones has a limit of 400 feet. If you want to know what happens when you fly above 400 feet make sure to read our article by clicking here. 

  • Drones should not be operated in specified “no-fly zones” such as airports, international country borders, strategic locations in India, and military installations and areas. 

  • A remote pilot certificate is a must for drone pilots if he/she is above 18 years of age. 

  • Drone insurance is needed for all drones except Nano drones. 

  • The drone should be flown in the daylight and during the daytime only. 

  • Drone operators must have insurance i.e., third-party liability for the safety coverage for their operations.

  • The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation has some of the areas color-coded into green, yellow, and red zones that signify the restricted drone areas in India
  1. Green Zones:  Don’t require permission to fly drones. 
  2. Yellow Zones: Requires permission for entry to fly drones. 
  3. Red Zones: Considered to be no-fly zones in India strictly. 

Drone Info: Did you know that more than 90% of Indian airspace comes under the “green” zone?

Drone Flying Permit In India

Nano
Micro
Small
Medium
Large
Drone Registration
Certification Type
Remote Pilot Certification
Green Zone Permission
Red Zone Permission
Yellow Zone Permission

Drones Laws In India: Pre-Flight Drone Checklist

Before you take off your drone to the skies, here is a quick checklist that is mandatory for you to tick off.

It starts with the basic official registration process which tells you whether you are eligible or not to fly. 

Check this before you think about flying a drone!

  • Drone pilots must get permission before flying every drone from a mobile app.

  • Registration of all the drones is mandatory from India’s Digital Sky Platform

  • The mobile app gives the automatic flight permission. It checks, approves, or denies in just the blink of an eye. Everything is done automatically.

Foreign Drone Laws In India

Bringing a drone from abroad into India has its rules, focusing on security and innovation.

While drones themselves face strict import regulations, their components can be freely brought in to encourage local assembly and innovation.

  • According to The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), the import of drones to India is strictly prohibited for security alignment and purposes. 

  • Import of drone components in India is free. That means drones cannot be imported but the components that are required to build the drones in India are free and can be imported from various countries. 

Drone Rules Are Applicable For:

Whether you own or manage a drone, all the drone rules in India are applicable for you.

Drone laws in India are also important to follow for those who are involved in leasing, operating, or transferring drones. 

Here’s who needs to keep the rules in mind mandatorily.

Owners and Possessors

Owners and possessors are those who own drones and possess drones respectively. Both of them must follow and implement the drone laws in India.

Those Who Maintain and Legalize Drones

Drone rules apply to those who maintain and see the legalization process of drones. People who are responsible for the leasing, operating, and transferring of the unmanned system in India need to follow the drone rules.

What is the Drone Registration Process In India?

For anyone who is thinking about flying a drone in India, it is mandatory for them to first register under the digital sky platform and get a unique identification number (UIN).

It provides the assurance and helps in tracing and accountability through the number given. 

Let’s get through the registration process step by step: 

  1. A profile and account should be created on the digital sky platform to create the UIN, a type of certification needed. 

  2. Select the “add exempted model” from the dashboard.

  3. Fill up all the details that are required.

  4. Once the model is added, the user must add the UAS serial number from the dashboard.

  5. Click on apply for UIN after UAS added the number. 

  6. Pay Rs 100 for the form submission and submit the D2 form. Once the receipt is obtained, you can get the UIN and it will be generated.

Penalties And Offences For Violating Drone Laws In India

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also set a penalty for those who violate the rules and laws of drones in India. 

Drone rules should be strictly followed and if not a person who violates is charged Rs 1 lakh, which is mentioned under the 10A act of India drone penalties.

Conclusion

Flying drones in India is a doable act unless and until you do not violate the drone laws.

It is crucial to understand the categories and ensure that your drone is legally registered.

Always remember that India drone safety guidelines are created to ensure safety for drones, both in the air and in the ground. 

Before flying your drone, you must be very clear with the do’s and don’ts of the drone laws in India. That’s all for now. Fly safe!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all drones except nano drones (weighing less than 250 grams) need to be registered with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India.

Registration involves obtaining a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP).

Yes, there are restrictions on where you can fly your drone in India. Drones cannot be flown in certain restricted areas such as near airports, international borders, military installations, and other sensitive locations without prior approval.

Violating drone laws in India can result in penalties including fines, confiscation of the drone, and legal action. Penalties can vary depending on the severity of the violation.

No, flying drones near airports or government buildings in India is strictly prohibited without prior approval from the relevant authorities.

This is to ensure the safety and security of airspace and sensitive locations.

Yes, there are specific requirements for commercial drone operations in India.

Commercial drone operators need to obtain necessary permits and approvals from the DGCA.

They also need to comply with additional regulations related to flight planning, insurance, and safety measures.

Additionally, commercial drone operators must ensure that their operations adhere to privacy regulations and do not infringe upon the rights of individuals or entities.

Author
Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

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