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Ministry of Civil Aviation(Government of India)has notified the Unmanned Aircraft System Rules 2021

The highlights of which are:

• These will apply to any UAS (Unmanned aircraft system) registered in India; person

owning, possessing, engaging in trade, manufacturing, leasing, operating etc. UAS in


• Unlike earlier UAS regulations from now Aircraft Rules, 1937 will not apply on UAS

• The rules categorize UAS into 3 broad categories- aeroplane, rotorcraft and hybrid

UAS. This is further sub categorized into remotely pilot aircraft, model remotely pilot

aircraft and autonomous UAS

• Based on weight, the UAS have been categorized into five subcategories- nano (≤ 250

gms); micro (250 gms ≤ 2kg); small (2kg ≤ 25kg); medium (25 kg ≤ 150 kgs); large (150

kgs ≤)

• It brings in the concept of substantial ownership and effective control doctrine in

Indian Drone Laws. As per the rules, only a company which is substantially owned and

controlled by Indians (Chairman and 2/3rd of its directors should be Indians) shall be

able to get an authorization for importation, manufacturing, trading, owning or

operating an UAS

• ‘No permission, no takeoff (NPNT)’ made mandatory

• Small, medium, large UAS are required to be equipped with an emergency recovery


• Akin to an aircraft, each UAS is required to affix its UIN (Unique Identification Number)

in an identifiable and visible manner

• Concept of drone leasing recognized; Concept of drone ports recognized

• Central Government authorized to establish Unmanned Aircraft and Traffic

Management System (UTM)

• Organizations to get designated for carrying out R&D in UAS

Disclaimer: This is merely for information purposes and should not be construed as legal

opinion and/or advice.

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