Flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (commonly known as drones) has gained quite a bit of popularity recently. While commercial applications include ambitious projects such as Amazon’s Prime Air delivery system, products like DJI’s Mavic series have made drone-flying a well-liked recreational activity.
However, flying drones has security implications, which is why they’ve been banned in India since 2014. That’s finally set to change soon, as the Ministry of Civil Aviation has just announced the country’s first National Drone Policy, set to come into effect from December 1 this year.
Press Release on Drones: pic.twitter.com/6ZlPeLJpxB
— Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) August 27, 2018
The policy has been drafted keeping in mind several factors, such as the height at which drones can be flown, and owner registration. According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, during daytime, drones can be flown at heights of up to 400m. There will be specially-designated ‘No Drone Areas’ like airports and military installations, where flying drones will continue to be prohibited.
The regulations put forward in the policy also categorize drones. Except for the drones in the ‘Nano’ category and those owned by government/intelligence agencies, all drones have to registered and associated with a Unique Identification Number (UIN). Interestingly, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that product delivery using drones is not allowed for now.
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Back in July this year, Ministry of Civil Aviation had announced that a framework for flying drones in the country would be announced soon. Now that the National Drone Policy is here, it’ll be interesting to see if (and when) we see more UAVs flying in the skies.