The Centre has announced Drone Rules-2021 which reduced the Yellow Zone from 45 kilometres to 12 kilometres from the airport perimeter. No permission is required for operating a drone in Green Zones and upto 200 feet in the area between eight and twelve kilometres from the airport perimeter.
As per the rules, the coverage of drones has been increased from 300 to 500 kilograms to include heavy payload-carrying drones and drone taxis. The number of permissions has been reduced from twenty-five to five. No security clearance will be required before any registration or licence issuance. The government has also reduced fees for permissions to nominal levels. The maximum penalty has also been reduced to one lakh rupees.
This will, however, not apply to penalties in respect of violation of other laws. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade will regulate the import of drones. No pilot licence will be required for operating nano drones and micro drones for non-commercial use. All drone training and examination will be carried out by an authorised drone school.
AIR correspondent reports that drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Promotion Council to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.