The Union Civil Aviation Ministry's latest notification on Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021,  specifies the norms for operating UAS or drones and lists the quantum of punishment for unauthorised flying and manufacturing drones which range from Rs 25,000 to Rs 5 lakh.

Drone operators who have so far got away with unauthorised flying of drones due to the absence of clearly laid out norm will have to watch out. 

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The new rules state that no unmanned aircraft shall be flown within a distance of 5 km from the perimeter of international airports at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad and within a distance of 3 km from the perimeter of any civil, private or defence airports. 

"This is good news for the industry as it lays down standard standards, a lot of previously ambiguous points are addressed and regulations implemented," said Raejus Job, a DGCA- NTRO, Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems instructor. He added that a more concrete set of regulations will boost the UAV ecosystem ."It's been well thought out with a proper road map and policy in mind," he added.

"No unmanned aircraft system shall be used or operated or transferred to any other person in India unless it is registered with the Director-General and it has a certificate of conformance issued either by an authorised importer or manufacturer," the notification states.

It further adds that no prototype unmanned aircraft system shall be manufactured or imported without the prior permission of the Director-General.

Rs. 5 lakh fine

A fine of Rs 5 lakh can be imposed for violation of subsection (1) of section 10. Section 10 specifies the import of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and subsection (1) states that no unmanned aircraft system shall be imported to India unless a certificate of manufacture and airworthiness of the specific type and class of unmanned aircraft system is obtained by the authorised importer.

There will a fine of Rs 5 lakh for violating section 11 which states that no person other than an authorised Unmanned Aircraft System Manufacture an unmanned aircraft system or part or component thereof in India.

A fine of Rs one lakh will be imposed on the establishment of a drone port in non-permitted areas. A fine of Rs 25,000 can be imposed on the transfer of unmanned aircraft system to unauthorised persons or for unauthorised buying or selling or leasing of an unmanned aircraft system or a part of a component thereof. Similarly, a fine of Rs 50,000 can be imposed for flying an unmanned aircraft over a no-operation area.