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Ministry of Civil Aviation has released an interactive digital airspace map for flying drone. The map demarcates green, yellow and red zones across the country for the purpose of drones operations.

The digital map is available on the digital sky platform of Directorate General of Civil Aviation. It comes as a follow-through of the recently liberalised Drone Policy, the PLI scheme for drones and the geospatial data guidelines.

The revamped drone rules are based on the premises of self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring of the activities.

For the purpose of drone operations, the digital map divides the Indian airspace into green, yellow and red zones.

Also Read: Valuation of drones industry may reach 180 crore by 2026: Scindia

Green zone consists of the airspace up to 400 feet that has not been designated as a red or yellow zone; and up to 200 feet above the area located between 8-12 kilometres from the perimeter of an operational airport. No permission is required for operating drones with an all-up weight upto500 kg in such areas.

Yellow zone is the airspace above 400 feet in a designated green zone. Those above 200 feet in the area located between 8-12 kilometres from the perimeter of an operational airport and above ground in the area located between 5-8 kilometres from the perimeter of an operational airport would be considered as yellow zones.

Drone operations in yellow zone require permission from the concerned air traffic control authority, namely AAI, IAF, Navy, HAL, etc., as the case may be. The Civil Aviation Ministry further mentioned that yellow zone has been reduced from 45 km earlier to 12 km from the airport perimeter.

Red zone have been designated as no-drone areas, where drones can be operated only after permission from the central government.

Also Read: Covid vaccine delivery: IIT Bombay, ICMR get nod for drone use from govt

The airspace map may be modified by authorised entities from time to time, the ministry stated, adding that anyone planning to operate a drone should mandatorily check the latest airspace map for any changes in zone boundaries.

“Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy. These include – agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence, and law enforcement to name a few. Drones can be significant creators of employment and economic growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas," the ministry said while announcing the digital airspace map

“Given its traditional strengths in innovation, information technology, frugal engineering and its huge domestic demand, India has the potential of becoming a global drone hub by 2030," it further added.

Also Read: Medicine delivery via drones to be piloted in 16 green zones across Telangana

Under the drone rules, notified on August 25, several permissions have been done away with, and the number of forms required has been reduced to 5 from 25 earlier. Besides, the types of fees have been drastically cut to 4 from 74 earlier.

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