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Draft Drone Rules, 2021 released by Ministry of Civil Aviation

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    17th Jul, 2021


The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has released the updated, Drone Rules, 2021 for public consultation. The Drone Rules, 2021 will replace the UAS Rules 2021 (released on 12 March 2021).

About the Drone Rules, 2021

  • Applicability: Drone Rules 2021 will apply to individuals owning, possessing, exporting, importing, manufacturing, trading, leasing, operating, transferring, or maintaining a drone in India. They don’t apply to drones used by the armed forces.
  • Issuing authority: The certificate will be issued by the Quality Council of India or a certification body authorized by the government.
  • Drone Promotion Council: The draft policy talks about a potential trade body called the Drone Promotion Council to develop “a business-friendly regulatory regime”.
    • The council will work on automated permissions, incubator centers, and organize drone technology events and competitions to state the draft policy.
  • Drone Corridor: The rules also envision a drone corridor that will cater to deliveries and taxis.
    • A drone taxi, or passenger drone, is a pilotless helicopter that can fly at a speed of around 130 km/hour. 
  • Safety features: Safety features like ‘No permission – no take-off’ (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing, etc. to be notified in the future. A six-month lead time will be provided for compliance. 
  • Digital sky platform shall be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.   
    • Airspace map: An interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones will be displayed on the digital sky platform.  
  • Minimal human interface: There will be a minimal human interface on the digital sky platform and most permissions will be self-generated.   
  • Regulation of imports: Import of drones and drone components to be regulated by DGFT.   
  • Coverage: Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg.  This will cover drone taxis also. 


  • The new rules come over a month after India witnessed what has been described as the country’s first-ever terror attack carried out by a UAV.
  • The new rules will give a push for ‘Made-in-India’ drone technology.

About Drones

  • Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that can be maneuvered remotely by a pilot.
  • There are three subsets of Unmanned Aircraft:
    • Remotely Piloted Aircraft
    • Autonomous Aircraft
    • Model Aircraft
  • Based on their weight, drones can be divided into five categories:
    • nano (weighing up to 250 g)
    • micro (250 g to 2 kg)
    • small (2-25 kg)
    • medium (25-150 kg)
    • large (over 150 kg)