Table of Contents
Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of India
Please note that DGCA has provided new drone rules in India. Please check the site for updates.
Updated June 16, 2022
Drone rules in India – General rules for flying drones in India
The Indian agency responsible for drone safety, DGCA, has provided a number of internet-accessible details on flying for fun or for work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.
Are drones allowed in India?
According to DGCA, drone use is allowed in India, subject to DGCA regulations. Read on for more details.
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in India:
The laws are quite detailed, and explicit, and should be reviewed before flying a drone in India. The laws are enumerated in this document: MINISTRY OF CIVIL AVIATION NOTIFICATION – New Delhi, the 25th August 2021 and announced Drone Amendment Rules 2022 with some additional liberalization of drone rules.
Drone Categories in India
The unmanned aircraft system shall be categorized into the following three categories, namely:––
- rotorcraft; and
- hybrid unmanned aircraft system.
The airplane, rotorcraft, and hybrid unmanned aircraft system shall be further sub-categorized as follows:––
- remotely piloted aircraft system;
- model remotely piloted aircraft system; and
- autonomous unmanned aircraft system.
Classification of unmanned aircraft systems.—The unmanned aircraft system shall, based on the maximum all-up weight including payload, be classified as follows:–––
- Nano unmanned aircraft system: weighing less than or equal to 250 grams (no permits required); You are required to ensure that you do not fly any nano drone beyond 50 ft (15m) Above Ground Level (AGL). Also, you will need permits, even for nano drones, if you fly in controlled airspaces like airports or other sensitive facilities.
- Micro unmanned aircraft system: weighing more than 250 grams, but less than or equal to 2 kilograms (No permits required for non-commercial usage only);
- Small unmanned aircraft system: weighing more than 2 kilograms, but less than or equal to 25 kilograms;
- Medium unmanned aircraft system: weighing more than 25 kilograms, but less than or equal to 150 kilograms; and
- Large unmanned aircraft system: weighing more than 150 kilograms.
Registration is required for all but the Nano category.
Drone Registration in India
- No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system without first registering it on the digital sky platform and obtaining a unique identification number unless exempted from the requirement of a unique identification number under these rules.
- A registration record shall be maintained by the Director-General of all such unmanned aircraft systems to which a unique identification number has been issued under these rules.
- It shall be the responsibility of the person operating an unmanned aircraft system to ensure that such unmanned aircraft system conforms to a valid type certificate.
Application and procedure for registration:
- Any person who intends to register and obtain a unique identification number for his unmanned aircraft system shall make an application in Form D-2 on the digital sky platform along with the fee as specified in rule 46 and provide requisite details including the unique number of the type certificate to which such unmanned aircraft system conforms to.
- The digital sky platform shall verify the details and issue a unique identification number to the applicant.
- The unique identification number of an unmanned aircraft system shall be linked to the unique serial number provided by the manufacturer and the unique serial numbers of its flight control module and remote pilot station.
- No person shall replace the flight control module or remote pilot station of an unmanned aircraft systemwhose serial number is linked to such unmanned aircraft system’s unique identification number,without first updating, on the digital sky platform, the unique serial number of the new flight control module or remote pilot station, within a period of seven days from the date of such replacement or before operating such unmanned aircraft system, whichever is earlier.
Registration of existing unmanned aircraft systems:
- A person owning an unmanned aircraft system manufactured in India or imported into India on or before the 30thday of November 2021 shall, within a period of thirty-one days falling after the said date, make an application to register and obtain a unique identification number for his unmanned aircraft system and provide requisite details in Form D-2 on the digital sky platform along with the fee as specified in rule 46.
- The digital sky platform shall verify the details furnished under sub-rule (1) and issue a unique identification number to the applicant if the unmanned aircraft system:
- has a valid Drone Acknowledgement Number issued by the digital sky platform on or before the date mentioned in sub-rule (1);
- has a Goods and Service Tax paid invoice for the unmanned aircraft system; and
- is part of the list of unmanned aircraft systems published on the digital sky platform by the Director-General.
Remote Pilot Certificate in India (previously Remote Pilot License)
No individual other than a holder of a valid remote pilot certificate enlisted on the digital sky platform shall operate an unmanned aircraft system. The Remote Pilot Certificate is not required when flying small to medium-sized drones up to 2kg for non-commercial drone use.
A remote pilot certificate shall specifically mention the category, sub-category, and classification of the unmanned aircraft system or a combination of these, for which it is issued.
An individual shall be eligible to obtain a remote pilot certificate if they––
- are not less than eighteen years of age and not more than sixty-five years of age;
- have passed the class tenth examination or its equivalent from a recognized Board; and
- have successfully completed such training as may be specified by the Director-General, from any authorized remote pilot training organization.
Procedure for obtaining a remote pilot certificate
- Any individual, who desires to obtain a remote pilot certificate for any category, sub-category, or class of an unmanned aircraft system, or a combination thereof, shall complete the training specified by the Director-General for such category, sub-category, or class, and pass the tests conducted by the authorized remote pilot training organization.
- Within seven days of successful completion of the training and passing of the tests under sub-rule (1), the authorized remote pilot training organization shall make an application for a remote pilot certificate in Form D-4 on the digital sky platform along with the fee as specified in rule 46, providing details of the individual who has passed the test.
- The individual in respect of whom an application has been made by the authorized remote pilot training organization under sub-rule (2) shall be issued a remote pilot certificate through the digital sky platform.
- The Director-General shall, within fifteen days from the date of issue of the remote pilot certificate under sub-rule (3), issue the remote pilot certificate to such individual through the digital sky platform.
Note: you are not required to get a certificate from DGCA separately after getting trained from a DGCA-approved drone training institute. You will now get a ‘Remote Pilot Certificate’ from the DGCA-approved drone training institute itself after passing the course that will make you eligible to fly micro drones for commercial purposes.
Validity of Certificate
A remote pilot certificate shall––
- be valid only if it is enlisted on the digital sky platform;
- unless suspended or canceled, remain valid for a period of ten years;
- be renewed by the Director-General for such period as may be specified therein, subject to a maximum period of ten years, on payment of fee as specified in rule 46:
Provided that the holder of the remote pilot certificate shall undergo such refresher course as may be specified by the Director-General on the digital sky platform from time to time.
Exemption from obtaining a certificate
No remote pilot certificate shall be required for
- operating a nano unmanned aircraft system; and
- operating a micro unmanned aircraft system for non-commercial purposes.
The provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) and rules made thereunder shall apply,mutatis mutandis, to the third party insurance of unmanned aircraft system and compensation in case of damage to life or property caused by such an unmanned aircraft system:
Provided that a nano unmanned aircraft system may operate without third-party insurance.
A person operating an unmanned aircraft system may use an insurance product specially designed for such operations, as and when such insurance product is approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
Foreigners are currently not allowed to fly RPAs in India. For commercial purposes, they need to lease RPAS to an Indian entity who in turn will obtain a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and UAOP from DGCA.
What are the requirements for the import of RPAs (with or without a camera) in India?
- Any entity intending to import RPAS in India shall obtain Equipment Type Approval (ETA) from WPC Wing, Department of Telecommunication for operating in a de-licensed frequency band(s). Such approval shall be valid for a particular make and model.
- The applicant, other than the Nano category, shall apply to DGCA along with ETA for import clearance. Based upon the import clearance issued by DGCA, DGFT shall issue a license for the import of RPAS.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in India
- Ensure your Drone (except Nano in uncontrolled airspace up to 50ft) is Digital Sky “No Permission- No Takeoff” (NPNT) Compliant
- Obtain a Unique Identification Number (UIN) from DGCA for operating in controlled airspace and affix it to your drone
- Obtain an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP), if applicable from DGCA for commercial operations and keep it handy
- Obtain Permission before each flight through the Digital Sky Platform
- Ensure the drone is in good condition (not damaged) and fit for flying safely.
- Keep an eye on interference: Interference can be from mobile devices or blockage of signals, do watch out when flying your drone.
- Fly only during daylight (after sunrise to before sunset)Fly in good weather: Good weather lets you not only fly your drone better but also keep track of it in the air.
- Fly in visual line of sight (VLOS): Always be within the visual range of your drone.
- Follow Flying Guidelines
- Do your homework before spending considerable money on a drone. Make sure you clearly understand all operational and regulatory aspects.
- Be aware of Airspace Restrictions/ No Drone Zones
- Do stay away from airports and heliports
- Respect the privacy of people
- Keep local police informed about your drone flying activity. If you are ever approached by police provide all requisite information.
- Do log your flights and inform concerned authorities (like DGCA, local police, etc.) of any incidents/ accidents
- Don’t fly a Nano drone above 50ft (15m) from the ground level
- Don’t fly a Micro drone above 200ft (60m) from the ground level
- Don’t fly drones more than 400ft (120m) from the ground level
- Don’t fly a drone near other aircraft (manned or unmanned)
- Don’t fly a drone near airports and heliports
- Don’t fly a drone over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people without permission
- Don’t fly the drone over government facilities/military bases or over/ near any no-drone zones.
- Don’t fly a drone over private property unless permission is given.
- Don’t fly a drone in controlled airspace near airports without filing a flight plan orAAI/ADC permission (at least 24 hours before actual operation).
- Don’t drop or carry hazardous material
- Don’t fly a drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Don’t fly the drone from a moving vehicle, ship, or aircraft
Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in India
See notes for hobbyists above.
In general, the process for receiving commercial clearance to fly an RPAS in India is quite complex, requiring applications and interactions with multiple agencies (see below).
|1||Directorate General of Civil Aviation||Import clearance|
Issuance of UIN
Issuance & Renewal of UAOP
Suspension / Cancellation of UIN & UAOP in case of violations of regulations.
|2||Directorate General of Foreign Trade||Import license|
|3||Ministry of Home Affairs||Security clearance|
|4||Ministry of Defence||Permission for aerial survey/imageries/ videography/ still photography over the restricted/prohibited areas on a case-to-case basis|
|5||Indian Air Force||Air Defence Clearance|
Monitoring of RPA movements in the country
|6||Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, DoT||Equipment Type Approval (ETA) or License for RPA|
|7||Bureau of Civil Aviation Security||Approval of the Security Programme|
|8||Airport Authority of India||Flight Plan Approval|
Monitoring of RPA movements in the country
|9||Local Police Office||Enforcement of violators as per applicable IPCs|
Useful published information on flying drones in India
Here is a video in Hindi (Indian language) on the 2022 India Drone Regulations…
Here is a video on what you can expect to see when flying a drone in India
NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model aircraft, toy aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
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A drone below 250 gm in weight can be carried either in the checked-in or cabin luggage. However, the batteries would have to be removed and be placed mandatorily in the cabin luggage. The airline carrier needs to be informed about drone luggage in advance.Do drones under 250 grams rules? ›
- All drones must be registered, except those that weigh 0.55 pounds or less (less than 250 grams) and are flown exclusively under the Exception for Recreational Flyers.
- Drones registered under part 107 may be flown for recreational purposes as well as under part 107.
The Drone Flyer Theory test is not difficult and does not aim to catch you out. Applying some common sense and the drone code; you should be fine. Always keep your drone or model aircraft in direct sight (you cant use binoculars or FPV camera). Never fly closer than 50m to people.Do drones under 250g need to be registered in India? ›
Under the new rules, a certificate is not required for operating nano drones (weighing less than 250 grams) and non-commercial micro drones (weighing less than 2 KG).Can you fly a drone under 250 grams anywhere? ›
No, you still cannot fly a drone under 250g anywhere you want. The only drone rule where a sub-250g drone is exempted is registration.What is the new drone law? ›
The government has passed Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022 which states that remote pilot certificate (earlier it was called license) will not be required for flying small to medium size drones of up to 2kg for non-commercial purposes.How many questions are on the drone exam? ›
35 multiple choice questions. 90 minutes to complete the exam.What is A1 and A3 drone license? ›
Categories of drone and model aircraft operations.
|Categories||Type of flying|
|Open A1 and A3||Basic, low-risk flying|
|Open A2||More risk than A1 and A3|
|Certified||High-risk, complex flying|
Which of them is allowed to briefly fly their drone over the group of friends? Answer – Both of them, as long as their friends have agreed it's OK and they fly safely.Do I need Licence for drone? ›
The A2 CofC licence is needed by all commercial drone pilots and most recreational pilots (dependent on the type of drone you own and how you plan to fly it). An Operational Authorisation is recommended for all commercial drone users.
Registering Drones in India
GoI has made it mandatory that all the users and UAs should be registered with Digital Sky platform and acquire UIN and UAOP license, obtain training and permissions before operating the vehicle.
According to India's national aviation authority, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, flying a drone is legal in India, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.What if my drone is over 250g? ›
If your drone weighs more than 250g (and most consumer drones do), then you'll have to register for an FAA registration number.What if my drone is over 250 grams? ›
First off, if your drone weighs more than 8.8 ounces or 250 grams (and most consumer models do), you'll need to register(Opens in a new window) for an FAA identification number.Do I need a license for DJI Mini 2? ›
But because weight of the Mini 2 comes in at a meager 249 grams, those restrictions do not apply, and you do not need a license.Can I fly a drone over private property? ›
If you fly your drone low over someone's land without their permission, you could be liable in trespass or nuisance, even if you do not personally go onto the land (although this is generally a civil rather than a criminal matter).Can I fly drone over houses? ›
According to the Public Spaces Protection Order 2020 (page 4), you can't fly without express prior consent. This means that you must have permission from the landowner or occupier before flying a drone in their area.What is the A2 drone category? ›
A1: fly over people but not over assemblies of people. A2: fly close to people. A3: fly far from people.Are DJI drones banned in India? ›
On Wednesday, February 9, the government announced some new rules regarding drones in the country. The import of drones has been banned in India which effectively blocks Chinese companies like SZ DJI Technology Co from being able to make the most of an emerging market like India.How can I get drone permission in India? ›
Last year when government announced the liberalised drone rules, it had mandated that after you get trained from an authorised DGCA-approved drone training institute in India, you were required to get yourself registered as a Remote Pilot and get a “Pilot Identification number” and Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit ( ...
In February, the Ministry of Civil Aviation abolished the requirement of a drone pilot licence. Advertisement. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Amber Dubey on Saturday said that the major intent behind liberalising the drone policy in India was to make it a global drone hub.Is drone test hard? ›
The FAA CFR Part 107 drone pilot exam is a difficult exam to pass and requires study in areas of Rules & Regulations, Airport Operations, Weather, Airspace, Flight Operations & Sectional Charts. There are many great online training courses designed to study, practice, and pass the exam with success.How long does the drone test take? ›
What's on the FAA drone certification test? The FAA test has 60-multiple choice questions. You have 2 hours to take the test, and you must get a 70% or higher to pass. There are 120+ concepts in the UAS Airman Certification Standards.Is the drone test multiple choice? ›
60 question multiple choice exam with three single responses (A, B, and C) per question. Each question will be independent of the other, i.e. the outcome of one question won't affect or influence the outcome of another. Some questions may require visual references like airspace maps or charts.What is C1 drone? ›
C-marking and classification of drones
In the open category, you can fly drones marked from C0 to C4. C0 drones will weigh less than 250 grams and are flown in subcategory A1. C1 drones are less than 900 grams and are flown in subcategory A1. C2 drones are less than 4 kg and are flown in subcategories A2 or A3.
Ultimately, this new C1 means that users can fly in the new A1 Open Category and will no longer have to pass the complex and costly A2 “Remote Piloting License” exam, but it is still mandatory to register your drone and complete the basic "Proof of Competence" certificate.Which category is my drone? ›
Type of Drone
Drones under 250g can be flown in the A1 sub category (there are also some exceptions for drones up to 500g too). Drones less than 2kg can be flown in A2 sub category, but you must keep at least 50 meters away from people and pass the A2 theory exam (A2 Certificate of Competency or 'A2 CofC').
You can use different flight modes to capture unique shots. Drones provide a unique aerial perspective that can't be obtained with any other camera. Not only can you capture images from up to 400 feet in the sky, but you can also use specific flight modes to add a creative element to your shot.Can drones take pictures of your property? ›
Can drones take pictures of private property? The flying of drones in the airspace of private property is acceptable as per FAA if the flight height is within the acceptable limits. But, if you try to take pictures of the private property, then you have to consult the local state privacy laws.Can drones record video? ›
For you, the “DJI Air 2S” is the best camera in the sky. Beginner pilots will enjoy this drone because it is so simple to operate, but more experienced pilots will also appreciate it. It includes a fantastic 5.4K camera, a zooming camera, and industry-leading connectivity, making it the ideal drone for video recording.
The legal limit of any drone that is flown in the United States and most other countries is 400 feet above ground level. In terms of technical limitations, a drone's height limit is determined by its range. Most DJI drones can fly up to 1,640 feet high. What is this?What are the laws on drones? ›
You must have two IDs in place before flying most drones or model aircraft outdoors in the UK: anyone who will fly must pass a theory test to get a flyer ID. the person or organisation that owns or is responsible for the drone or model aircraft must register for an operator ID.What is commercial drone use? ›
What is commercial use of UAS or drones? The commercial use of UAS or drones is the operation of an uncrewed or model aircraft for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. For example, using a drone to take photographs for your own personal use would be considered recreational.Can I fly drone at night in India? ›
Are there any restrictions on flying drones at night or over people in India? The current regulations are silent on the timing at which drones can be flown.Can I carry drone from Dubai to India? ›
India has banned the import of drones, except for R&D, defence and security, with immediate effect. The Civil Aviation ministry said on Wednesday that the move is to promote domestically-made drones. However, the import of drone components will not require any approvals.Does DJI spark need license in India? ›
People flying drones that are between 250g-500g (the DJI Spark included) will need to do the Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service (DMARES) to get their Flyer ID (this is free).Can Mavic Mini bring to India? ›
As per India's drone policy, nano RPAs that weigh less than 250 grams are exempted from registration, NPNT compliance, and import license as well. Users can fly the DJI Mavic Mini up to 50 feet and in enclosed premises in the country without any worrying about registration.Do I need a license to fly DJI Mavic Air 2? ›
Do you need to register a Mavic Air 2 as well? Even though the DJI Mavic Air 2 was designed as a lightweight drone, it still requires registration because the rules state that any drone 0.55 lbs (250 grams) or above should be registered. The Mavic Air 2 weighs 570 grams and will require registration with the FAA.Is drone allowed in Indian customs? ›
DGFT has banned import of foreign drones in India, effectively immediately from 9th February 2022. This made foreign branded drones accessible to Military and R&D purposes only.Can Mavic mini be carried to India? ›
The DGCA defines Nano drones as drones that weigh under 250g. Therefore the only DJI drones that can be flown in India are the DJI Mavic Mini, Mini 2, and the Tello.
As DJI explains, yes you can take a drone on a plane as either a piece of carry-on luggage, or as a piece of checked luggage, depending on its size. But, no matter what, you must take out the drone's batteries and put those in your carry-on bag.Can I carry nano drone in flight? ›
“Nano drones can be carried in hand baggage with batteries in the passenger cabin or checked-in baggage (without batteries).Can I carry drone from Dubai to India? ›
India has banned the import of drones, except for R&D, defence and security, with immediate effect. The Civil Aviation ministry said on Wednesday that the move is to promote domestically-made drones. However, the import of drone components will not require any approvals.How can I get drone license in India? ›
As per government rules, an aspirant needs to get trained in drone flying at an authorised DGCA-approved drone training institute in India to get himself or herself registered as a remote pilot. A pilot should have a 'Pilot Identification Number' and 'Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit' to fly drones in the country.Can I carry drone to India from us? ›
Foreigners are currently not allowed to fly drones in India. For commercial purposes, they need to lease the drone to an Indian entity who in-turn will obtain Unique Identification Number (UIN) and UAOP from DGCA.Is DJI air 2s allowed in India? ›
Are drones legal in India? To fly any drone for that matter, you need to have it registered. A new policy directive from the Director-General of Civil Aviation mandated the registration. It is important to point out that foreigners are not allowed to fly drones in India.Should I register my DJI Mini 2 in India? ›
No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system without first registering it on the digital sky platform and obtaining a unique identification number unless exempted from the requirement of a unique identification number under these rules.Can I import DJI drones in India? ›
While previously, drones could be imported subject to prior clearances, by virtue of the Notification, the import of foreign drones (including nano drones) in India is now largely prohibited. As noted above, the import of drone components is permitted.Can I take drone batteries on plane? ›
Consumer-sized Li-ion batteries, rated at up to 100 watt hours, can be carried on the plane. This includes batteries that are installed in a drone as well as spare batteries. Batteries rated up to 100 watt hours can also be in checked bags, as long as they are installed in the drone.How many watt hours is a DJI mini 2 battery? ›
|Battery technology||Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)|
|Battery capacity (Watt hours)||17.28 Wh|
If your drone batteries are below 100 Wh, the FAA allows passengers to carry as many such batteries as they want. However, should the battery be between 101 and 160 Wh, the FAA regulations allow you to carry a maximum of two such batteries. You cannot pack your LiPo or lithium-ion batteries in your checked luggage.Can I carry drone in indigo? ›
Yes, REGISTERED drones are allowed in checked in baggage. Please ensure it is not connected to a battery source, the removed battery must be carried as a carry on item.Are drones allowed in Goa? ›
“Flying of non-conventional aerial objects such as drone and UAVs are prohibited within three kms of INS Mandovi, Verem, Goa being a defence installation.Do you need license for drone? ›
The A2 CofC licence is needed by all commercial drone pilots and most recreational pilots (dependent on the type of drone you own and how you plan to fly it). An Operational Authorisation is recommended for all commercial drone users.