India approves unhindered drone operations in six green zones

India approves unhindered drone operations in six initial green zones

According to a report published by the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), and republished by UAS Vision, unhindered drone operations have received security clearance from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation in six designated green zones. Ministry Joint Secretary Amber Dubey is quoted as saying the zones which are near six metros are “good to go”. The zones are located in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal. “The green zones are circles with a 5 km radius (ground area around 80 sq km).”

Currently, drones and their operators need to obtain a unique identification number (UIN) through the digital sky platform. Recently, the Centre gave an opportunity to drone owners to register and obtain the UIN through the platform by January-end.

All micro drones (2 kg and below) with a valid UIN can apply for an online permission artifact (OPA) on the digital sky platform (DSP) and fly in these green zones subject to the laid down guidelines,” Dubey said.

In 2018, the first e-regulations were introduced for the civilian use of UAS in India. These enabled visual line-of-sight, daytime-only and a maximum of 400-feet altitude drone operations. The framework mandates users to register on an online portal which acts as the national unmanned traffic management system for remotely piloted aircraft. Users are required to make one-time registration of their drones, pilots and owners on the platform, which will also allow for online filing of a drone’s specific flight path and use.

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