Before you start flying drones as a hobby, for fun or to get aerial photographs, you need to understand the set of new regulations which will be in place from December 1. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has released a lengthy 37-page-long set of rules for flying drones in India. Indian Air Force will monitor all drone movements in the country in coordination with Airports Authority of India while the DGCA will have the power to suspend any permit given to you to fly drones in case of violation of regulations. Violators can also attract police action in case any applicable IPC section is violated.
Here is a list of all do’s and don’ts which you need to keep in mind before flying drones:
1. Ensure your drone (except Nano in uncontrolled airspace upto 50 feet) is Digital Sky “No Permission- No Take off” (NPNT) compliant.
2. Obtain Unique Identification Number (UIN) from DGCA for operating in controlled airspace (where the ATC services are active) and affix it on your drone.
3. Obtain Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP), if applicable from DGCA for commercial operations and keep it handy.
4. Obtain permission before each flight through Digital Sky Platform which will be available on DGCA website from December 1.
5. Keep an eye on interference which can be from mobile devices or blockage of signals.
6. Fly only during daylight (after sunrise to before sunset).
7. Fly in good weather: Good weather lets you not only fly your drone better but also keep track of it in the air.
8. Fly in visual line of sight (VLOS): Always be within visual range of your drone.
9. Be aware of airspace restrictions/ no drone zones and respect privacy of people.
10. Keep local police informed about your drone flying activity. If you are ever approached by police provide all requisite information.
11. Do log your flights and intimate concerned authorities (like DGCA, local police etc.) of any incidents/ accidents
1. Don’t fly a Nano drone above 50 feet from the ground level.
2. Don’t fly a Micro drone above 200 feet from the ground level.
3. Don’t fly drones more than 400 feet from the ground level.
4. Don’t fly drone near other aircraft (manned or unmanned).
5. Don’t fly drone near airports and heliports.
6. Don’t fly drone over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people without permission.
7. Don’t fly drone over government facilities/military bases or over/ near any no-drone zones.
8. Don’t fly drone over private property unless permission is given.
9. Don’t fly drone in controlled airspace near airports without filing flight plan or AAI/ADC permission (at least 24 hours before actual operation).
10. Don’t drop or carry hazardous material.
11. Don’t fly drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
12. Don’t fly drone from a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft.