India’s 1st Drone Policy Announced – Here Are 12 Places You Cannot Fly A Drone!

For drones above a specific weight, you will need a pilot's license costing Rs 25,000

India's first drone policy
India’s first drone policy

India has opened up its skies, and have allowed drones, finally!

India’s 1st drone policy has been announced by Ministry of Civil Aviation, which makes flying  Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) or drones in layman’s terms legal.

Last year in the month of November, we had mentioned draft regulations pertaining to Drones, which has now been finalized.

Directorate General of Civilian Aviation had banned the usage of drones by civilians, but that changes from December 1st.

National Drone Policy would be effective December 1st, and there are several rules and regulations attached for the ‘pilot’.

But, the most interesting aspect, as per our opinion, is the list of places where you are not allowed to fly a drone in India.

National Drone Policy: Major Highlights

  • Drone operators would need a license to fly a drone, and it will cost Rs 25,000.
  • A UIN or Unique Identification number is required for every drone which is flying, and it will cost Rs 1000 to get one
  • Pilots or operators of drones will need to clear tests, related with the rules and regulations of flying a  Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).
  • The pilot needs to be atleast class 10th pass, and 18+ years of age.
  • The process to apply for license would be automated, and completely digital.
  • During day-time, drones can be flown till 400 feet, and should be visible by the drone operator.
  • The rule about the visibility of drones can be relaxed later on.
  • Drones have been divided into 5 categories, based on the weight. Drones from 250 grams to 2 kgs wont be requiring any license or permission to fly. But drones beyond that weight will need a permit, for every flight.
  • Drones flying in controlled airspace will require a flight plan and Air Defence Clearance (ADC) /Flight Information Centre (FIC) number for every flight.

Here Are The Places Where You Cannot Fly A Drone In India

Under ‘Operating Restrictions’, Govt. has mandated that drones cannot be flown in these 12 locations:

  • Within 5 kms from the perimeter of airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad
  • Within 3 kms from the perimeter of any defense, civil and private airport (other than the list mentioned above)
  • Above the Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS) or PANS-OPS surfaces, whichever is lower of an operational aerodrome. The list is updated by Ministry of Civil Aviation (Height Restrictions for Safeguarding of Aircraft Operations) Rules, 2015 via  Gazette of India notification GSR751(E)
  • Within any permanent or temporary Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas including TRA, and TSA, as notified in AIP
  • Within 25 kms from International Border, which includes Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL)
  • Beyond 500 meters (coastal) into sea from a coast line
  • Within 3 kms from the perimeter of any military installations, facilities
  • Within 5 kms from the radius of Vijay Chowk in Delhi
  • Within 2 kms from the radius of strategic locations, as specified by Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Within 3 kms from the radius of  State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals
  • Drones won’t be allowed from a mobile platform like moving vehicle, ship or aircraft
  • Over eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries notified by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change without prior permission.

You can find the entire Drone Policy (37 pages) right here.

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