It is communication that revolutionized the Indian economy through the use of IT and other means. But interestingly, drones which started its role as a toy, a couple of decades ago, has emerged both as a successful proposition both in commerce and also in defense replacing millions of dollars’ worth airplanes, ships or other transport. Let us study the detailed guidelines issued by Civil aviation by also quoting a live case (name hidden though it is from the web site of that ministry).
Detailed guidelines issued are reproduced below:
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF CIVIL AVIATION TECHNICAL CENTRE, OPP. SAFDARJUNG AIRPORT, NEW DELHI
CIVIL AVIATION REQUIREMENTS SECTION 3 – AIR TRANSPORT SERIES X PART I ISSUE I, DATED 27 AUGUST, 2018 EFFECTIVE: 01st DECEMBER, 2018 F. No. 05-13/2014-AED Vol. IV(CAR)
Subject: Requirements for Operation of Civil Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)
Now the analysis.
Consisting of 18 sections, all technical, and 12 annexures decorate the above instructions. It is scrupulously followed by Director General, Civil Aviation while issuing the license. I shall give an actual case from their web site but with no name for the safety of our country. Also, I would encourage budding industrialists to consider drones for commercial use with due permission.
Some details from the above communication.
“1.1 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), autonomous aircraft and model aircraft are various sub-sets of unmanned aircraft. Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is an aircraft and its associated elements, which are operated with no pilot on board.
1.2 Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) is an unmanned aircraft, which is piloted from a remote pilot station. A remotely piloted aircraft, its associated remote pilot station(s), command and control links, and any other components form a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).”
Section 2 contains “ACRONYMS &DEFINITIONS” and definitions.
Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) is categorized in accordance with Maximum All-Up-Weight (including payload) as indicated below:
i) Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams.
ii) Micro: Greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg.
iii) Small: Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.
iv) Medium: Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.
v) Large: Greater than 150 kg
To proceed further, we must keep in mind that any RMA is no more a toy played by you or myself with a key or a battery within the house. Amazingly, it is true the above definition clears our minds when we shall see any photo in the future.
This CAR is applicable to Civil Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, which are Remotely Piloted from a Remote Pilot Station.
Section 5 contains the application process both for RPA imported to India and for RPA locally purchased in India. With ample declaration of “All applications shall be processed on a case-to-case basis through “Digital Sky Platform”, the communication clears the way for manipulation by personal contacts removing doubts in the minds of an average person.
Section 6 says that a Unique identification number is required to operate an RPA. Details are given in 6.1 to 6.6.
An interesting question arises.
Does the grandkid of my neighbor living opposite my house need permission?
Let me clear the position. Yes, our kids/grandkids do engage in fun with drones and need the liberty to do.
“Civil RPA operators other than those mentioned in Para 7.2 shall require UAOP from DGCA.
7.2 Following entities will not require UAOP: a) Nano RPA operating below 50 feet (15 m) AGL in uncontrolled airspace / enclosed premises.
b) Micro RPA operating below 200 feet (60 m) AGL in uncontrolled airspace / enclosed premises. However, the user shall intimate to the local police office 24 hours prior to the conduct of actual operations.
c) RPA owned and operated by the agencies as indicated in Para 6.5 of this CAR.
However, the agency shall intimate local police officers and concerned ATS Units prior to the conduct of actual operations.”
8.1 to 8.7 contains details of safety and safety requirements. However, it is important to know that
The operator shall be responsible for the safe custody, security and access control of the RPAS and In case of loss of RPA, the operator shall report immediately to the local police office, BCAS and DGCA.
This amply makes it clear that the utmost responsibility has been imposed even on kids through their parents/guardians. Yes, the message is very clear that kids do involve with the most enlightening experiences of modern gadgets under the supervision or at least the responsibility of elders.
I do request their elders to allow their kids to use the above gadgets since we could do anything like this in our younger days.
Let me narrate the names of other sections:
It is not possible for me to give complete details of above communication under reference but some interesting and scintillating information are given below: (all from communication under reference; this is one matter involving the security of the nation, I may not surmise the requirements)
Now that we are well-grounded with detailed instructions or at least know the place where we can look for rules/regulations, can we really sway ourselves towards an actual license detail? (No name will be given)
Let us transfer our attention to the Civil aviation web site.
Some of the conditions and limitations imposed for conducting remote pilot training for an academy was as under: (DGCA indicates Directorate General of Civil Aviation)
Let us also look at further instructions on drones, if they are not in operation.
From Ministry of Civil Aviation web site:
It indicated an opportunity was given those possessing drones and drone operators to disclose information to authorities concerned and after obtaining the required documents, Owner Acknowledgement Number and Drone Acknowledgement Number would be issued.
Let me include some areas where the drone may be used or being used in commerce:
Drones have replaced human beings, aero planes or sophisticated monitors in army/air force/navy operations unknowingly or unwittingly. All governments have started using them and meanwhile, draft regulations or approved ones are being prepared.
I am happy to invite your attention to various strides made by our nation either in military, civil or in law and order operations in the usage of the drone.
My only request to authorities is not to make it a bureaucratic tool to delay permissions or drones may come, invade us and make fun without any legal sanction.
Disclaimer: You may recognize that this article is full of my views and neither taxguru.in nor, government authorities are responsible for my personal views. Please refer to various government web sites quoted for guidance.