New Drone Rules to open up new possibilities for innovation, business: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 will usher in a landmark moment for the sector in India.

The Prime Minister also highlighted that approvals, compliance requirements and entry barriers have been significantly reduced under the new rules.

“The new Drone Rules usher in a landmark moment for this sector in India. The rules are based on the premise of trust and self-certification. Approvals, compliance requirements and entry barriers have been significantly reduced,” PM Modi tweeted.

“The new Drone Rules will tremendously help start-ups and our youth working in this sector. It will open up new possibilities for innovation & business. It will help leverage India’s strengths in innovation, technology & engineering to make India a drone hub,” the tweet added.

In March 2021, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021. They were perceived by academia, startups, end-users and other stakeholders as being restrictive in nature as they involved considerable paperwork, required permissions for every drone flight and very few “free to fly” green zones were available.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation in a release today informed, “Based on the feedback, the Government has decided to repeal the UAS Rules, 2021 and replace the same with the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021.”

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy like – agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence, and law enforcement etc. Drones can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.

Earlier today, in a set of progressive rules which will significantly transform the Indian landscape for drones, the Centre issued fresh norms for their usage in the country.

The relaxation in rules stipulate, no security clearance is now required before any registration or licence issuance for the operation of drones. While the fees for permissions to operate drones has been reduced to nominal levels, the new rules state.

Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries. It has been specified that coverage of drones under Drone Rules 2021 has increased from 300 kilograms to 500 kilograms to include heavy payload-carrying drones and drone taxis, it added.

Some of the approvals abolished under the new rules are include a unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, operator permits, authorisation of Research and Development organisation and remote pilot instructor authorisation, the rules added.

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