A drone pilot operates his drone during a practice session for the Night Drone Competition at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2018, in Bengaluru, Nov. 29. (Shailendra Bhojak/PTI)
Civil Aviation Ministry announced Saturday it has started the registration process for drone operators in the country, to be done through a portal called ‘Digital Sky’.
The government, in August, had put in place regulations for operations of remotely piloted aircraft, to come into effect from December 1.
Under these norms, drone users will be required to do one-time registration of their drones. They will also need to register the pilots of drones as well as their owners.
“Happy to announce that we are launching the Online Registration Portal for #Drone Flying Permission, #DigitalSky from TODAY. The platform is now live,” Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet.
For drones of micro size and above categories, operators are required to register on the Digital Sky portal, he said in another tweet.
Nano drones can start flying legally from Saturday, the ministry said in a release later.
It also said the digital platform has begun accepting registrations of users, and payments for Unmanned Aerial Operator’s Permit (UAOP) and Unique Identification Numbers (UIN) will be accepted through the Bharat Kosh portal (bharatkosh.gov.in).
According to the ministry, to get the permission to fly, RPAS (remotely piloted aerial system) or drone operators or remote pilots will have to file a flight plan.
“Flying in the ‘green zones’ will require only intimation of the time and location of the flights via the portal or the app. Permissions will be required for flying in ‘yellow zones’ and flights will not be allowed in the ‘red zones’,” the ministry said.
The location of these zones will be announced soon. Permission will be made available digitally on the portal, it added.
To prevent unauthorized flights and ensure public safety, any drone without a digital permit will not be able to take off.
“Drones are an industry of the future. India will be taking lead in this sector and will be working with countries around the world to develop common, scaleable standards. This industry has a large potential for Make in India and also to export drones and services from India,” Prabhu was quoted as saying in the release.
The ministry has constituted a task-force on the recommendation of Drone Policy 2.0 under junior minister Jayant Sinha.
The task-force is expected to release its final report by the end of this year. Drone 2.0 framework for RPAS is expected to include regulatory architecture for autonomous flying, delivery via drones and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights, the ministry said in the release.