No drones or unmanned aerial vehicles are allowed to fly within 25 km of international borders. The Civil Aviation Ministry said on Thursday that any type of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) i.e. unmanned flight system is allowed to fly within a radius of 25 km on all international borders of the country, including Line of Control, Line of Actual Control and Actual Ground Position Line. Not allowed. The government’s statement assumes significance in the wake of rising incidents of drones being sent across the border by Pakistan and the first-of-its-kind terror attack on the Jammu airbase in June. In response to an unstarred question related to the regulation of drones, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh told the Lok Sabha that on March 12, 2021, the notification of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021 has been issued. In his reply, the minister said, “These rules are related to all aspects of the use of drones such as registration, ownership, transfer, import, operation of drone traffic management, payment of fees and fines etc. All types of civilian drone activities are being regulated through the UAS Rules 2021. In response to a question whether the government is looking at separating drones used in professional videography and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) used for defense purposes, the ministry said that the UAS Rules 2021 for all types of professional videography, including Applicable to UAVs being used for civilian purposes. But UAS rules will not apply to the operation of UAVs for defense purposes. The ministry said that no drone or unmanned aircraft system is allowed to fly within a radius of 25 km along the country’s international borders. The use of drones will be allowed in restricted areas only after the approval of the central government, that too in exceptional circumstances. The Ministry further said that in order to deal with the menace of drones in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued the necessary Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on 10 May 2019 in which the Central as well as the State Governments have to be taken after discussion with the security agencies. Steps are also given.
[Attribution to NBT]