The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) plans to introduce a remote pilot licence for operating drones and is expected to release draft norms for regulating the use of automated aerial vehicles (AAVs), or drones in a week’s time, reports PTI.

According to the report, the draft Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) has been finalised after consultations with concerned ministries and security agencies. It reports that the aviation regulator is mulling for remote pilot licensing to use drones in the country.

At present only government organisations and companies are permitted to fly drones, as the government had banned the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) which include drones, by any non-government agency, organisation or an individual in October 2014.

In May last year, the DGCA had released a draft paper (pdf) with guidelines for obtaining a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and permission to fly a civil unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The DGCA cited the increasing civil use of UAS for damage assessment of property and life in areas with natural calamities, for surveys, infrastructure monitoring, commercial photography, aerial mapping etc., as reasons for the requirement of guidelines. More here

Earlier in 2016, the Government of India had amended the Customs Baggage Declaration regulations to make it mandatory (pdf) to declare drones in customs forms, for people coming to India. On declaration, users will need to report to the customs officer at the Red Channel counter and are liable to pay duty on the item. The regulation came into force on April 1, 2016.

Drones in other countries

In the United States, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made it mandatory for all unmanned aircraft to have registration.  FAA issued guidelines for the commercial use of drones in February last year. The agency also offers rules for small drones under 55 pounds (~25kg) conducting non-recreational operations. The rules also limits flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations.