Aviation Ministry releases draft regulations for usage of drones

Raj Kamal Rao

Civil Aviation Ministry on Wednesday announced the draft regulations for usage of drones in the country. Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that a regulated framework of usage of drones will help sectors such as agriculture, oil, and gas.

“We want to make India the world’s leader in the use of drones, drones can be of great help in field s such as agriculture, oil and gas” he said.

Union Minister of Civil Aviation P Ashok Gajapathi Raju with MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha during the launch of the Regional Connectivity Scheme of Ministry of  Civil Aviation, in New Delhi

Union Minister of Civil Aviation P Ashok Gajapathi Raju with MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha during the launch of the Regional Connectivity Scheme of Ministry of Civil Aviation, in New Delhi

As per draft policy, Drone operators will have to comply with government and won’t have any right to breach anyone’s privacy. Government agencies will be able to use the drone without any permission. Local police and anti-terror squad will have to inform authorities before using the drone.

Govt’s drone policy has divided machines into five categories and assigned permissions, security clearance and unique identification number.

“We are talking to firms that have the technology to rein in such rogue drones, which take permission for a particular flight path but deviate or stray into restricted areas,” Civil Aviation Ministry official said after announcing the policy.

Comments for the draft policy will be invited for 30 days and then consultations would be held in the Ministry. The regulatory framework can be expected by December 31.

Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey said that his department has discussed security related issues with the Home Ministry and the draft regulation sought to improve ‘ease of doing business’ for the drones industry while securing any concerns of misuse.