More than 20,000 drone users register with Govt, action against undeclared users now

NEW DELHI: more than 20,000 drone users registered in the government at the end of the fortnight-long window given to everyone using the same ended on Friday evening. From now on penal action will be taken against anyone found using a drone without availing of the one-time voluntary disclosure scheme, which can a jail term and/or a fine, warned a senior government official warned.

“We were waiting for about 10,000 users to register in the disclosure window from January 14 to 31. But at 5.15 pm, when the deadline ended, we had received a total of 20,531 drone disclosures, including 15,553 people. The deadline (to register) is not being extended, ”said a senior aviation ministry official.

The government is keen to have a database of drone users given the security implications of using this equipment. Once that is known, tracking that equipment will be key to safe operations even in green zones or areas where they will be allowed.

“What we are seeing is a two to four hour workout for nano users (weighing up to 250 grams) and a 20 to 25 hour workout for micro drone users (weighing between 250 grams and 2 kg). The training session will be followed by an online video test. All this is a work in progress and the rules will be finalized shortly, ”said an official.

In the future, people who buy drones in India will have the registration process completed at the time of purchasing it, similar to buying a mobile phone SIM card today and activating it after a time in which the credentials verification is performed given.

Users must install trackers on their drones. “Currently, these trackers cost between 5,000 and 7,000 rupees. We are looking to have GSM-based trackers, ”said the official.

The drones rules of India require that drones, except for nano that fly up to a height of 50 feet in enclosed premises and be made remotely (RPA) owned by security and intelligence agencies, must have a number of unique identification

People flying an unregistered drone will face actions under various sections of the Aircraft Law, as well as the Aircraft Law that stipulates imprisonment and/or fine for varying periods of time and amounts, respectively.

The General Directorate of (DGCA) issued regulations in August 2018 to regulate the use of drones in Indian airspace that require obtaining a unique identification number (UIN), unmanned aircraft operator permit (UAOP) and contain other operational requirements, including the identification of civil drones and drone operators. This rule also states that people who are using unregistered drones can be punished according to section 287 which is for negligent conduct with respect to machinery and provides for a jail of up to six months and/or a fine of up to 1,000 rupees. The DGCA rules provide for punishing users according to sections 336, 337, 338 or any relevant section of the IPC. Any person who is using an unregistered drone after January 31 can be punished according to these provisions.