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DGCA issues draft guideline for UAVs in India

India: The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India has recently issued draft guidelines for unmanned flying devices. The new proposal aims to frame guidelines and set a policy for drone users.

According to the proposal, the aviation regulator will issue operator permits and unique identification numbers (UIN) so air traffic controllers (ATCs) can track and identify any drone in the air at a height of 200ft or more. The guidelines advocate of issuing UIN to only a citizen of India; or a company or a corporate body with a registered business in India, that has a majority of Indian shareholders. Unmanned aircraft operations at or above 200 feet AGL (above ground level) in uncontrolled airspace will also require permit from DGCA.

Further, it suggests that drone users to seek police permission to fly a drone in the area. The draft also divides UAVs in four classification based on their weight. According to this, devices weighing less than 2 kgs will fall under micro; greater than 2 kgs and less than 20 kgs, under mini; 20 kgs to 150, under small; and greater than 150 kgs will come under large.

DGCA earlier issued a blanket ban on flying of drones by non-government agencies and individuals who owned drones could use them in public places only with police permission. However, in view of technological advancements in UAS over the years and their increased civil applications, it has become necessary to develop guidance material to regulate this activity, the draft said.

Source: DGCA