Last Updated: May 30, 2021, 1015 hrs

The Civil Aviation Ministry on Saturday said it has permitted drone operations, which are in compliance with its no-permission-no-takeoff (NPNT) scheme, up to 400 feet above the ground in 166 new green zones across the country to facilitate, smoothen and promote drone operations in the country.

The NPNT scheme requires an operator to take permission from aviation regulator DGCA, using an app, before each drone flight. If this permission is not received, the drone itself will not function.

“Flying in these approved ‘green-zones’ will require only intimation of the time and location of the flights via the Digital Sky portal or the app,” a Civil Aviation Ministry statement. Moreover,  drone flights in the green zone sites are required to be compliant with the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021 dated 12th March 2021, and other relevant orders/ guidelines issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The new zones permitted in addition to 66 that already existed are in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.

The list of the approved green zone sites can be easily accessed from the Digital Sky Platform.
As per Directorate General of Civil Aviation, under NPNT, every Remotely Piloted Aircraft, except Nano has to obtain valid permission through the Digital Sky platform before operating in India.
The framework mandates users to register on the online portal that acts as the national unmanned traffic management system for remotely piloted aircraft.

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