1. General. — No person shall operate a drone in India unless it conforms to a certificate of airworthiness or is exempted from the requirement for a certificate of airworthiness under these rules.

  2. . Certification entities. – The Quality Council of India or a certification entity authorised by the Quality Council of India or the Central Government may issue a certificate of airworthiness for any particular type of drone, on an application filed by a manufacturer or importer of that type of drone on the digital sky platform, if such type of drone meets the specified certification standards.

  3. Certification standards. – On the recommendation of the Quality Council of India, the Central Government may specify the standards for obtaining a certificate of airworthiness for drones. These standards may promote the use of made-inIndia technologies, designs, components and drones; and India’s regional navigation satellite system named Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC).

  4. Procedure for application. – Any manufacturer or importer seeking a certificate of airworthiness shall apply through Form D-1 on the digital sky platform, to Quality Council of India or any other certification entity authorised these rules, providing the following:

(a) Name, contact details and GSTIN of the applicant;

(b) Details and required documents in respect of the prototype drone;

(c) Proof of payment of the prescribed fees; and

d) Prototype drone that shall be physically handed over to the certification entity.

  1. Restriction on imports. – Import of drones and drone components shall be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

  2. Acceptance of approvals given by foreign regulators. – The Quality Council of India may certify drones based on approvals granted to that type of drone by other international aviation regulators, as may be specified by the Central Government.

  3. General safety. – No person shall, operate a drone in any manner, either directly or indirectly, so as to endanger the safety and security of any person or property.

  4. Mandatory safety features. –

    1. The Central Government shall notify safety features to be installed on a drone by the person owning the drone.

    2. All persons owning a drone shall adopt the said safety features within such period as may be specified by the Central Government, which shall not be less than six months from the date of such notification. Such safety features, that may be notified in future, may include as under –

(a) ‘No Permission – No Takeoff’ (NPNT) hardware and firmware;

(b) Real-time tracking beacon that communicates the drone’s location, altitude, speed and unique identification number; and

(c) Geo-fencing capability.

  1. Exemptions. — No certificate of airworthiness shall be required for manufacturing, importing or operating a –

    (a) prototype drone for the purpose of research and development;

(b) prototype drone for obtaining certificate of airworthiness; and

(c) nano drone.