Drone corridors will also be developed for cargo deliveries.

In a set of progressive rules which will significantly transform the Indian landscape for drones, the Centre on Thursday 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 300kg to 500kg 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.

The maximum penalty under Drone Rules, 2021 has been reduced to Rs. 1 lakh. This shall, however, not apply to penalties in respect of violation of other laws.

The interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones will be displayed on the digital sky platform. The yellow zone has been reduced from 45km to 12km from the airport perimeter.

No permission is required for operating a drone in green zones and upto 200 feet in the area between 8kms and 12km from the airport perimeter.

Online registration of all drones shall happen through the Digital Sky Platform. The easy process prescribed for transfer and de-registration of drones, it added.

An easy opportunity provided for the regularisation of existing drones in the country. No pilot licence is now required for operating nano drones and micro drones for non-commercial use, the rules state.

Safety features like ”No permission – no take-off” (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc to be notified in future. A minimum six-month lead time will be provided for compliance.

All drone training and examination to be carried out by an authorised drone school. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shall prescribe training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online, it added.

Type Certification of drones delegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it. No requirement of type certificate, unique identification number, prior permission and remote pilot licence for research and development entities.

However, the import of drones will be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Unmanned Aircraft Systems Promotion Council to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.

Earlier in July this year, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had released the updated ”The Drone Rules, 2021” for public consultation.