Drone Policy In India And What It Means For Enterprises

By Vikshut Mundkur and Arjun Janananda

After two years of drafts and deliberations, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has finally come up with a policy for remotely piloted aircraft or drones. This is to come into effect from December 1, 2018.

This is a testament to the undying passion, enthusiasm and efforts of the drone solutions provider community as well as the immense potential drone technology holds, that this policy has been pushed through!





Before we get to discussing what this policy means for enterprises, here are some basic elements of the policy itself.

The policy clearly defines weight categories of drones and the relevant permissions required to operate them. Nano drones weigh up to 250 grams, micro drones weigh between 250 grams and 2.5 kgs. Small, medium and large drones are all greater than 2 kgs.







Further, an online portal called “Digital Sky Platform” will be created.






Digital Sky will enable -

Applying for Unique Identification Numbers (UIN) for drones - This will be issued in two working days of application. The fees for this application is Rs. 1000/-. Nano category drones flying up to 50 feet above ground level (AGL) in uncontrolled airspace or enclosed premises are exempt from this requirement.

Applying for Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) - This will be issued within 7 days of application. The fees for application is Rs. 25,000 and it is valid for 5 years. The fees for renewal is Rs. 10,000. A practical training program with a defined syllabus has been prescribed in the policy. Operators flying Nano category drones flying up to 50 feet AGL or Micro category drones flying up to 200 feet AGL in uncontrolled airspace or enclosed premises are exempt from this requirement. However, micro drone operators have to intimate the local police station in writing about the operations 24 hours before the flight.

Applying for permission for a flight plan at least 24 hours prior to the actual operations. Operators have to intimate the local police station in writing about the operations 24 hours before the flight. Operators flying Nano category drones flying up to 50 feet AGL in uncontrolled airspace or enclosed premises are exempt from this requirement.
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In terms of restrictions for flying:-

1. Drones cannot be flown within 5km of the perimeters of the airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad and within 3km from the perimeter of any other airport.
2. They cannot fly within “permanent or temporary Prohibited, Restricted and Danger Areas” and within 25km from international border which includes the Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL).




3. They cannot fly beyond 500 m into sea from the coast line and within 3 km from perimeter of military installations.
4. They also cannot fly within a 5 km radius of the Vijay Chowk in Delhi, within 2 km from perimeter of strategic locations/ vital installations notified by Ministry of Home Affairs and within 3 km from radius of State Secretariat Complexes.
5. They also cannot be operated from a mobile platform such as a moving vehicle, ship or aircraft.
6. Eco-sensitive zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are off-limits without prior permission.


Now that we’ve got the policy brief out of the way, let’s explore what this policy means for Indian enterprises.





Using drone technology effectively can transform workflows across several sectors such as Infrastructure, Real Estate, Renewable Energy, Insurance, Natural Resources Management, Agriculture and Mining.

Drones will enable these sectors to save on time and cost while increasing accuracy and safety across the planning, design, construction and maintenance stages of their projects.



Drones are capable of collecting high resolution real time data using different types of sensors. This data when used in conjunction with technologies such as 3D photogrammetry, live video based analytics, computer vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence can help enterprises gain critical insights and actionable intelligence that enhance the decision making process.


Being at the forefront of exploiting the drone data technology, HUVIAiR has demonstrated these immense benefits across all the above-mentioned sectors. Check out our library of case studies here.


This report from PwC says-
“The application of drone technologies in existing business processes is allowing companies from those industries to create new business and operating models. Each industry has diverse needs, and as a consequence requires different types of drone-powered solutions, and various drone functionalities. Some of them value flight speed and payload capacity, while others wish to concentrate on solutions delivering high-quality, real-time data in a cost-effective way.”




According to McKinsey, the number one solution for enhancing the productivity and solving all the technology problems of infrastructure and real estate sector is using higher definition surveying and geolocation using drones.



The drone technology ecosystem in India has evolved over the past couple of years and is now in a very strong position. Decision makers in enterprises must make the most of this and explore the adoption of drones into their workflows.

Enterprises should use the next few months to strategize and come up with clear plans for drone adoption into their workflows. This needs be a critical component of their digital transformation strategies.




Get Started with Huviair Technologies



HUVIAiR enables enterprises to adopt drones into their workflows. With experience of training more than 3000 professionals and having completed more than 50 projects world wide , HUVIAiR follows a 3 step approach to enable our customers to adopt drone data technology across all stages of their workflows.



Consult- After deeply understanding current workflows, we consult on how drone data can be integrated into your operations.
Enable- We enable drone data collection, either by training companies to in-house drone operations or conducting drone operations ourselves.
Software- All the stakeholders can visualize the drone data outputs and perform analytics on the HUVIAiR app.


Contact us on info@huviair.com for more information.

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