No Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) shall be allowed to fly within 25 kilometres from the international border including the Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL), said the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday.
Replying to an unstarred question regarding the regulation of drones, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh informed the Lok Sabha that Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021 have been notified on March 12, 2021.
“The rules cover the various aspects of drone usage viz, registration, ownership, transfer, import, operation of drone traffic management, payment of fees and penalties etc. All civilian drone activities are regulated by the UAS Rules, 2021,” reads the Civil Aviation Ministry”s reply.
On whether the government distinguishes between drones used for professional videography and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) used for defence purposes, the Ministry clarified that the provisions of UAS Rules, 2021 are applicable to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for civilian purposes including professional videography. The operation of UAVs for defence purposes is not covered under UAS Rules, 2021.
On the question of whether the government proposes to regulate the usage of drones more strictly in border states and UTs like Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh as compared to hinterlands and other major tourist destinations, the Civil Aviation Ministry said, “As per Rule 37(2)(e) under UAS Rules, 2021, no UAS shall be flown within 25 kilometre from the international border which includes Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL). As per Rule 37(3) of the UAS Rules, 2021, use of drones in restricted areas is permissible only after the approval of the Central Government, in exceptional circumstances.”
The ministry further said in order to counter the threat of non-compliant drones in the country, necessary Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been issued on May 10, 2019 by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which includes measures to be taken by the central and the state governments, in consultation with security agencies.
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