November 24, 2017   
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New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come up with draft regulations on civil use of drones which will also enable commercial use of drones for tasks like photography, doorstep delivery and even passenger transport, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju announced on Wednesday.

Under the draft rules, the drones are classified into five categories based on their maximum take-off weight: nano (upto 250 gm), micro (251 gm to two kg), mini (2 kg to 25 kg), small (25 kg to 150 kg) and large (greater than 150 kg).

Addressing reporters here, the Minister said that draft regulations — which were arrived at after prolonged discussions with various stakeholders — would be placed in the public domain for a month to seek comments and suggestions from the public, after which rules would be finalised.

“By December 31, we will be in a position to come up with final regulatory framework for usage of drones,” Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey added.

“Except for nano category and those operated by government security agencies, all other commercial categories of drones will be registered by DGCA which will issue it a Unique Identification Number,” Choubey said.

A statement from the Civil Aviation Ministry said that mini and above categories will require Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit while model aircraft upto 2 kg flown below 200 feet inside educational institution premises will not require the permit or identification number.

Remote pilots of the drones will have to undergo requisite training except in case of nano and micro categories, the statement added.

The draft rules also imposed some restrictions on use of drones in terms of no-fly zones which include area within 5 km from an airport, within 50 km from international border, beyond 500 metres into the sea along the coastline, within 5 km radius from Vijay Chowk in Delhi and from mobile platform such as a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft.

They would also not be permitted to fly over densely populated areas without prior approval and over areas affecting public safety or where emergency operations are underway, the statement added.