The DGCA defined drones as any flying machine models, prototypes, toys, RC aircraft, autonomous and remotely piloted aircraft systems and enlisted them for regulation purpose.

However, possession of an OAN or DAN is not sufficient for operating a drone. It should comply with Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) under section 3 of Air Transport Series X, Part I, Issue I, dated 27 August, 2018 and other notifications issued by DGCA from time to time with regard to ownership and operation of drones.

Under the new requirement, a person is eligible to operate a drone only on being certified by an authorized institute after a prescribed pilot training.

DGCA Approval for drones

Why is the DGCA Approval Required?

Drones cannot be carried in cabin baggage on flights in India as they fall under the category of “restricted items”. This came as an order by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), which is the regulatory authority for civil aviation security in India. The order came in response to a clarification sought by the Central Industrial Security Force, which is in charge of airport security in India. MediaNama has seen a copy of the order. We have also seen a letter sent by Air India informing its cabin crew about the order.

Restricted items on Indian flights include sharp objects such as knives and scissors, and ammunition, among other things, and cannot be carried in cabin baggage.


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    All small, medium and large drone operators need to get an Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit to be able to fly it. No drone is allowed to fly without mandatory equipment like GPS system, return-to-home system, anti-collision light, ID-plate, flight data logging system, and radio frequency identification.

    The DGCA is the regulatory body charged with enforcing the above-mentioned rules, which is responsible for the penalties for non-compliance with the laws and regulations governing drones.

    n 2014, India imposed a sudden ban on the use of civil drones. This came after a Mumbai based Pizzeria tried to use an unmanned vehicle to air-drop pizzas in its vicinity. Such a knee jerk reaction did set back the emerging domestic drone industry by years, an opportunity well encashed by China.

    But mainstream implementation of drone delivery services is likely still years off, as industry leaders say the federal agency in charge of civil airspace is taking its time crafting regulations that will make it legal to fly drones for commercial purposes, including delivery.