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Airspace Map of India

Star marking (1-5) indicates the importance of topic for CSE
  • 29 Sep 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched an airspace map of India for drone operations, which shows red, yellow and green zones across the country.

  • It will allow civilian drone operators to check the demarcated no-fly zones or where they need to undergo certain formalities before flying one.
  • Earlier, the 'Liberalised Drone Rules, 2021 based on “trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring” was unveiled and also the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the drone industry was announced.

Key Points

  • About:
Green Zone

Yellow Zone

Red Zone

  • It is 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 km from the perimeter of an operational airport.
  • No permission is required for operating drones with an all-up weight of up to 500 kg.
  • It is the airspace above 400 feet in a designated green zone, and above 200 feet in the area located between 8-12 km from the perimeter of an airport, and above ground in the area located between 5-8 km from the perimeter of an airport.
  • Require permission from the concerned air traffic control authorities - which could be either the Airports Authority of India, the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, etc as the case may be.
  • It is the ‘no-drone zone’ within which drones can be operated only after a permission from the Central government.
  • The Drone Rules, 2021:
    • The aim of the Rules is to create a 'digital sky platform' ("the Platform") which is a business-friendly single-window online system, with minimum human interference, where most of the permissions will be self-generated.
    • The Rules have reduced the red-tape involved in the process of seeking compliance:
      • Quantum of fee has been reduced to nominal levels and delinked with size of the drone.
      • Easier process is specified for transfer and deregistration of drones through the digital sky platform.
      • Nano and model drones (made for research or recreation purposes) are exempt from type certification.
    • Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 has been increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also.
    • Type Certificate is required only when a drone is to be operated in India. Importing and manufacturing drones purely for exports are exempt from type certification and unique identification number.
    • Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.

Drones

  • About:
    • Drone is a layman terminology for Unmanned Aircraft (UA). There are three subsets of UA- Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Autonomous Aircraft and Model Aircraft.
      • Remotely Piloted Aircraft consists of remote pilot station(s), the required command and control links and any other components, as specified in the type design.
    • Remotely piloted aircraft have been divided into five categories based on their weight (existing rules)
      • Nano : Less than or equal to 250 grams.
      • Micro : From 250 grams to 2kg.
      • Small : From 2 kg to 25kg.
      • Medium : From 25kg to 150kg.
      • Large : Greater than 150kg.
  • Importance:
    • 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.
      • Recently, the Telangana government has selected 16 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) for pilot testing the ambitious ‘Medicine from the sky’, the first-of- its-kind project. The project involves delivery of medicines through multiple drones.

Source: IE

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