prpri The Drone Rules, 2021 – A spirited discussion The Drone Rules, 2021 – A spirited discussion

Simple identification of small objects all over the northern part of India and that too near our border with our neighboring nations resulted in simplification of the similar rules issued in March 2021. Unless we move forward to meet beeline of drones entering our land without any permission from our bureaucrats or state/central government controls, small nano drones will damage our equipment, carry the image of our installations and help our enemy to plan ahead. Yes, the new Drone rules, 2021 detailed below invite you to give your opinions/suggestions on or before August 5, 2021 for any change in the rules already framed and enlisted as below:

https://www.civilaviation.gov.in/sites/default/files/Draft_Drones_Rules_14_Jul_2021. pdf

Issuer: GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF CIVIL AVIATION NOTIFICATION,

[TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE OF INDIA, EXTRAORDINARY, PART II, SECTION 3, SUB-SECTION (i)]

Let us understand the contours of the rules for quick grasp. This will help me to understand the case study given which follows the rules immediately.

The Drone Rules, 2021 Preamble

PART I PRELIMINARY 1. Short title, commencement and application.

2. Definitions.

PART II CLASSIFICATION OF DRONE

3. Classification of drones.

PART III DRONE CERTIFICATION

4. General. 5. Certification entities, 6. Certification standards, 7. Procedure for application, 8. Restriction on imports, 9. Acceptance of approvals given by foreign regulators, 10. General safety, 11. Mandatory, safety features, 12. Exemptions.

PART IV DRONE REGISTRATION

13. Unique identification number, 14. Registration of existing drones, 15. Transfer of drones, 16. Deregistration of drones,

PART V DRONE OPERATIONS

17. Airspace map, 18. Interactive maps, 19. Requirement of prior permission. 20. Mandatory pre-flight verification of zonal restrictions, 21. Dynamic nature of zoning, 22. Temporary red zone, 23. Access to data,

PART VI REMOTE PILOT LICENCE

24. Remote Pilot Licence. (1) General, (2) Classification, (3) Eligibility, (4) Procedure for obtaining remote pilot licence, (5) Validity, (6) Exemption.

PART VII REMOTE PILOT TRAINING ORGANISATION

25. Remote pilot training organization. (1) General, 2) Eligibility, (3) Procedure for obtaining authorization, (4) Validity, (5) Training requirements,

PART VIII RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, 26. Drone operations for research and development,

PART IX DRONE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT, 27. Drone traffic management

PART X INSURANCE

PART XI DRONE PROMOTION, 29. Drone promotion.,

PART XII GENERAL, 30. Fee, 31. Directions, 32. General power to exempt, 33. Prosecution for offences, 34. Penalties, 35. Cancellation or suspension, 36. Saving, 37. Repeal.

The last sentence of the rules reads as under:

“The Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021 stand repealed.”

So, whatever we discussed earlier in taxguru.in about the drone , need revision and updating of information.

To understand the rules, can we use a case study?

Let me offer usage of a drone by your kid who insists on you to buy and allow him to use it?

“Drone” means an aircraft that can operate autonomously or can be operated remotely without a pilot on board”.

 This is an important learning.

PART VI REMOTE PILOT LICENCE, 3) eligibility is connected to this query.

Let me refer the same for you.

Remote Pilot Licence. (1) General. – No natural person other than a holder of a valid remote pilot licence enlisted on the digital sky platform shall operate a drone.

2) Classification. –

 (a) Remote pilot licences shall specifically mention the class of the drone that the natural person has successfully completed the prescribed training for.

(b) The remote pilot licence shall specifically mention if the said natural person has successfully completed the prescribed training for automatic or autonomous drone operations.

 (3) Eligibility. – The following natural persons shall be eligible for a remote pilot licence:

 (a) not less than eighteen years of age and not more than sixty- five years of age;

 (b) have passed class tenth or its equivalent examination from a recognised Board; and

 (c) have completed the training prescribed by the Director General for the applicable class of remote pilot licence from an authorised remote pilot training organisation.

Sad but true, the writer of this article, me, is not eligible to get the license since I am above 65 years of age. But I do possess 10th class education and might have completed the training if found eligible.

How do I get the license, if otherwise found eligible?

Let me refer page 10, 4) (4) Procedure for obtaining remote pilot licence, and get enlightened as under:

  • a) After completing the prescribed training and passing the prescribed proficiency test conducted by an authorised remote pilot training organisation, the natural person shall be issued a remote pilot certificate by such authorised remote pilot training organisation through the digital sky platform, within seven days of the successful completion of such proficiency test.
  • (b) The authorised remote pilot training organisation shall pay the applicable fee for each remote pilot certificate issued through the digital sky platform.
  • (c) The Director General may issue the remote pilot licence to any applicant who satisfies the criteria set out in sub-rule (4)(a), through the digital sky platform, within fifteen days from the date of issue of the remote pilot certificate by the authorised remote pilot training organization.
  • How long and when does the valid holder get renewed?
  • A remote pilot licence shall, unless suspended or cancelled, remain valid for a period of ten years, and may be renewed by any authorised remote pilot training organisation for the period specified therein, subject to a maximum period of ten years.
  • However, required refresher courses must be attended as learnt from digital sky platform.

Can the drone be of any size?

  • Classification of drones. — Drones shall be classified based upon the maximum all-up weight including payload as under – (a) Nano drone: Less than or equal to 250 grams; (b) Micro drone: Greater than 250 gram and less than or equal to 2 kilograms; (c) Small drone: Greater than 2 kilogram and less than or equal to 25 kilograms; (d) Medium drone: Greater than 25 kilogram and less than or equal to 150 kilograms; and (e) Large drone: Greater than 150 kilograms. So, one can’t get a drone bigger than 150 Kilograms.
  • The ones noted at the border of Indo-Pak, were small and nano in size so that it was difficult to identify any drone.
  • Who will register my drone?
  • Unique identification number. – (1) No person shall operate a drone which does not have a unique identification number, unless such drone is exempted under these rules. (2) A person may generate the unique identification number of a drone by providing requisite details in Form D-2 on the digital sky platform. Also, UIN shall be linked to the unique serial number provided by the manufacturer and the unique serial numbers of its flight control module and ground control station. UNI is very important for a drone.
  • What are some of the other rules which are very important? Airspace map. – The Central Government may, within 30 days of the date of notification of these rules, publish on the digital sky platform, an airspace map for drone operations segregating the entire airspace of India into red, yellow and green zones, with a horizontal resolution equal or finer than 10 metre. What is segregation of air space? Requirement of prior permission. – No person shall operate a drone in a red zone or yellow zone without prior permission.
  • Yes, the central government may create a red zone for 48 hours on emergency basis whose information will be input on digital sky platform. The central government did suspend operation of drones in the recent skirmish with unknown drones identified.
  • Who will give one the training?
  •  PART VII REMOTE PILOT TRAINING ORGANISATION 25. Remote pilot training organisation. (1) General. – No person other than an authorised remote pilot training organisation shall impart training to a person seeking a remote pilot licence.
  • While complying with the conditions imposed by the Director General for in respect of training, proficiency testing and issue of remote pilot certificates, the authorized training institute will conduct the training.

Who can conduct the Research and Development regarding the drones? Recently the central government authorities did talk about this in reputed newspapers.

Research and development entities, and educational institutions under the administrative control of, or recognised by the Central Government, State Governments or Union Territory Administrations; (b) Startups recognised by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade; and (c) Any drone manufacturer having a Goods and Service Tax Identification Number.

What about fee to be paid?

1)For Issuance of certificate of airworthiness Rs. 100, 2) For Issuance or transfer of unique identification number Rs. 100 3) For Listing or renewal of remote pilot licence Rs. 100 and finally for Authorisation or renewal of authorisation of remote pilot training organization, Rs. 1,000.

Yes, prosecution for offences.

Prosecution for offences. – (1) A person who has contravened or failed to comply with these rules shall be punishable by the Court in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 10 of the Aircraft Act, 1934 and such contraventions or non-compliance shall be compoundable in accordance with the provisions of Section 12A of the Aircraft Act, 1934.

Penalties can also be levied by the Director General or an officer authorised by the Central Government, State Government or Union Territory Administration not exceeding for Rs one lac only in terms of above act.

Conclusion

The recently notified draft rules will undergo final shapes and be notified immediately after August 5, 2021. One can send suitable suggestions/views to  sdit.div-moca@gov.in.

Being motivated by the intervention of unknown drones with two of them damaging Indian properties on grounds belonging to government authorities, the rules stand simplified. Unlike normal delay in relation to rules being notified at the convenience of governmental authorities, the concerned ministry, may act fast and notify the rules due to recent events related to unknown enemy drones. Let us appreciate them if that happens.

I have given the minimum information on drones and any one interested to buy or learn about drones can read the above rules thoroughly for application. Yes, with simplified rules, more persons not excluding any one of 18 years and above is expected to make use of drones for educational, fun, business or obviously military operations. Even your breakfast, lunch or dinner can be delivered using drones. For seniors, medicines will be handed over by friendly and smiling drones.

Some one says instead of kites, drones can adorn the sky and kids will motivate their parents to run them. Why not?

*****

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and do not constitute an advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting on the basis of the above write up.  The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that Author/TaxGuru is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof. This is not any kind of advertisement or solicitation of work by a professional.

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