Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has passed the Drone Rules, 2021 vide gazette notification dated August 25, 2021. The Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021 stand repealed.


Key highlights of the Rules are:

  • Application: The Rules shall apply to all persons – (a) owning or possessing, or engaged in leasing, operating, transferring or maintaining an unmanned aircraft system in India; (b) all unmanned aircraft systems that are registered in India; and (c) all unmanned aircraft systems that are being operated, in or over India. These rules shall not apply to an unmanned aircraft system belonging to, or used by, the naval, military or air forces of the Union of India. The Rules shall apply to an unmanned aircraft system with all-up-weight of less than 500 kg.
  • Certification: The Director General may issue a type certificate for any particular type of unmanned aircraft system. No security clearance is required before any registration or license issuance for drones. The requisite fees for permissions have also been reduced to nominal levels. Several approvals have been abolished, including the unique authorisation number, the unique prototype identification number, the certificate of conformance, the certificate of maintenance, the operator permits, the authorisation of the R&D organisation, and remote pilot instructor authorisation, among others.
  • Penalties: The Rules prescribe the maximum penalty for violating rules shall be ₹1 lakh.
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems Promotion Council: An Unmanned Aircraft Systems Promotion Council is to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.
  • Import: The import of drones will be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Drone corridors will also be developed for cargo deliveries, the new rules dictate.
  • Airspace Map: Interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones will be displayed on the digital sky platform. The yellow zone has been reduced from 45km to 12km from the airport perimeter. No permission is required for operating a drone in the green zone and up to 200 feet in the area between 8km-12km from the airport perimeter.
  • Zone Registration: Online registration of all zones shall occur through the Digital Sky platform, with an easy process prescribed for the transfer and deregistration of drones.
  • Drone School: The new drone policy aims to provide for the regularisation of the existing drones in India. All drone training and examination will be carried out by an authorised drone school. The DGCA shall prescribe training requirements, oversee drone schools, and provide pilot licenses online.
  • Safety and Compliances: Safety features like ‘No permission – no take-off (NPNT)’ real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing, and the like shall be notified in the future, the policy notes. A minimum six-month lead time will be provided for compliance.

*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

In view of emerging COVID-19 situation in the United Kingdom, the competent authority has temporarily suspended flight to/from the United Kingdom with effect from 23:59 hrs IST of 22-12-2020. Therefore, no flights from the United Kingdom will land in India after 23:59 hrs IST of 22-12-2020. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure.

Consequently, flights from India to the United Kingdom shall also remain suspended.

However, the restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA.

Airlines operating flights to/from India from other countries shall not board any passenger travelling from United kingdom to India and shall ensure that no passenger coming from U.K. is boarded in flight for any destination in India either directly or indirectly.

During the transition period i.e.e up to 23:59 hrs of 22-12-2020, all passengers arriving to India from the United Kingdom shall be compulsorily subjected to RT-PCR Test at the arrival port in India. Passengers found COVID positive shall be quarantined as per guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.  All medical costs incurred shall be borne by the passengers.

All airlines operating passenger services from the United Kingdom to India shall ensure strict compliance of the above instructions and shall make an in-flight announcement.

The above-said is a temporary measure and shall be in force till 31-12-2020.


Office of the Director-General of Civil Aviation

[Circular dt. 21-12-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

The fare bands within which the airlines have to operate have been extended upto 24th February, 2021 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. These fare bands came into force with effect from 21st May, 2020.

            The daily passenger traffic has reached 2.05 lakh on 1st November, 2020. When the domestic aviation opened in May 2020, the airlines were enabled to fly upto 33%  of the normal capacity (as per summer schedule, 2020).   At that time, the average daily traffic was about 30,000. This cap was enhanced to 45% w.e.f.  26th June, 2020. This cap was further revised to 60% w.e.f. 2nd September, 2020. At present, the airlines can operate upto 60% of their capacity.

              Ministry of Civil Aviation is monitoring the traffic every day, and it is expected that the traffic would further pick up because of the festival season and as the passenger traffic increases, the upper cap would be revised to 70-75% of normal capacity in the coming days.

Ministry of Civil Aviation

[Press Release dt. 05-11-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh is declared as International Airport with immediate effect

Ministry of Civil Aviation notifies that the Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh is declared as International Airport with immediate effect.

Ministry of Civil Aviation

Notification dt. 08-07-2020

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Ministry of Home Affairs Order the following amendment in the guidelines on lockdown measures for strict implementation by Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State/UTs and State/ Union Authorities:


In para 2 (i), ‘domestic air travel passengers’ is deleted from the list of prohibited activities. Detailed guidelines of airports and air travel passengers, will be issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Access the Order here:


Ministry of Home Affairs

[Order dt. 20-05-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, stated that,

Grievances were received from air travellers regarding refund for flights cancelled because of the nationwide lockdown to combat COVID19. Advisories have been issued regarding refund for both domestic & international tickets booked for the flights suspended due to lockdown.

Tickets booked during 1st Lockdown (25 March-14 April 2020) for travel during same period & for which payments were received by airlines during 1st lockdown shall be refunded within 3 weeks from date of request for cancellation by airlines without levy of cancellation charges.

Tickets booked during 1st lockdown for travel during 2nd lockdown (15 April -3 May 2020) & for which payments were received by airlines during 1st lockdown shall be refunded within 3 weeks from date of request for cancellation by airlines without levy of cancellation charges.

[Official Twitter Account of Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India]