New Delhi: The Civil Aviation Ministry on Saturday launched the ‘Digital Sky Platform’ for the registration of drones and their operators.
The ministry in a statement said nano drones in India can start flying legally with immediate effect from Saturday as the Civil Aviation regulations come into force. “For drones, operators and pilots are required to register on the Digital Sky Portal,” the statment said.
The platform has begun accepting registrations of users. Payments for Unmanned Aerial Operator’s Permit (UAOP) and Unique Identification Numbers (UIN) will be accepted through the Bharat Kosh (bharatkosh.gov.in) portal, it said.
To get permissions to fly Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), 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 location of these zones will be announced soon. Permission, if granted, will be available digitally on the portal,” it said.
Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Civil Aviation, said: “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.”
The government in August had announced a policy and guidelines for drones designed to open up an array of opportunities in the Indian civil aviation sector. The regulations are intended to enable visual line-of-sight, daytime only and a maximum of 400 feet altitude operations.
The regulations list various categories of drones, and all of these except the “nano” type weighing less than 250 gram and those owned by government and intelligence agencies, are to be registered and issued with a Unique Identification Number (UIN).
As per the regulations, “for flying in controlled airspace, filing of flight plan and obtaining Air Defence Clearance/Flight Information Centre number shall be necessary.” These define the “no-drone zones” around airports, near international borders, Vijay Chowk in Delhi, state Secretariat complexes in state capitals, strategic locations and vital military installations, among others.