Daily News Analysis

New drone rules

16th July, 2021 Security and Defence


  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday released Draft Drone Rules, 2021, for public consultation until August 5.
  • The rules will replace the Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021, notified on March 12, 2021.


New drones rules:

  • Simplified drone rules, which abolish the need for a large number of approvals, are in the offing in the country.
  • The number of forms to be filled to seek authorisation before operating a drone has been reduced from 25 to six.
  • While most drones will need a unique identification number, a certificate of airworthiness, a remote pilot licence for the person controlling the drone and prior permission.
  • No such approvals will be required for drones used for research and development by entities and educational institutions recognised by the Central government, State governments or Union Territory Administrations, start-ups recognised by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and drone manufacturers having a Goods and Service Tax Identification Number.
  • Unlike the previous rules, which required drone operators to have a principal place of business within India, and the chairman and at least two-thirds of its directors were required to be citizens of India, in the new proposed rules there are no such restrictions for foreign-owned companies registered in India.
  • However, import of drones and drone components will be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
  • Drones will also not need security clearance before registration or licence issuance.