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New drone rules apply; unauthorized trading invites fines

Drones weighing more than 250 grams can only be operated by a remote control pilot with permission from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) throughout the aircraft, according to new drone rules that went into effect Friday.

The new rules were finalized after about ten months of consultation, however, it has not yet approved the delivery of goods using drones.

Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021 was announced on Friday setting out the terms of use of the drone for individuals and businesses and the conditions for the research, testing, production and importation of these vehicles. The new rules set out a regulatory framework that aims to promote the use of drones for various commercial and security purposes and sets out ‘do’s and don’ts’ for users.

Use of any drone other than the nano-class ones — those weighing 250 gms or less — requires a permit. However, nano drones with a maximum speed of 15 meters per second in a standard airplane or able to fly more than 15 meters high and a distance of more than 100 meters from the remote control pilot will fall to the next level – micro drones where clearance is required and permission to leave. Micro drones are generally classified as those weighing more than 250 gms but weighing less than two pounds [2 kg].

Unauthorized import, sale, and lease on droneare charges that do not require a fine but may be included in the payment of certain amounts. The rules define aggregate values ​​for various cases with high prices for heavy drones. These rules apply to drones in the world today. Driving a drone is a non-remote flight pilot and is a complex crime.

The rules do not allow the use of drones beyond the visual or material delivery, which may limit the use of these gadgets for research, photography, security and various data collection purposes. The use of commercial drones, security, law and order, disaster management, and surveillance operations reduces staffing needs and costs.

The final rules come at a time when the coronavirus has highlighted the role that technology can play in reducing human contact and costs. Drones offers low-cost, safe and fast data collection surveys and is useful for industries such as energy, mining, commodities and oil and gas exploration.

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