Airspace map. – The Central Government may, within 30 days of the date of notification of these rules, publish on the digital sky platform, an airspace map for drone operations segregating the entire airspace of India into red, yellow and green zones, with a horizontal resolution equal or finer than 10 metre.
Interactive maps. – The airspace map for drone operations shall be designed to be programmatically accessible through a machine readable Application Programming Interface (API) and interactive so that drone pilots will be able to plot their proposed flight plan and easily identify the zone(s) within which it falls so as to assess whether or not they need to make an application for prior approval.
Requirement of prior permission. – No person shall operate a drone in a red zone or yellow zone without prior permission.
Mandatory pre-flight verification of zonal restrictions. – Before commencing a drone operation, a drone pilot shall mandatorily verify the digital sky platform for any notification or restriction applicable to drone operations in the intended area of operation.
Dynamic nature of zoning:
The Central Government may update the airspace map on digital sky platform for drone operations from time to time to change the status of an area from one zone to another.
Any such change shall come into effect no sooner than seven days after the date of such update.
Temporary red zone. –
If there is an urgent need to temporarily prohibit drone flights in a specified area, the concerned State Government, Union Territory Administration or law enforcement agency may declare a temporary red zone over such specified area, for a period not exceeding 48 hours at a time, by notifying it through the digital sky platform and highlighting it on the airspace map.
The temporary red zone shall be declared by an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police or its equivalent. Such officer shall endeavour to keep the size of the temporary red zone reasonable and not excessive.
The digital sky platform shall endeavour to inform, through electronic means, holders of unique identification number within a distance of five kilometre from the perimeter of the temporary red zone of such a restriction, provided that the lack of receipt of such information shall not absolve a drone pilot of the responsibility to verify the zonal restrictions on the digital sky platform before commencing a drone operation.
Access to data. – All State Governments, Union Territory Administrations and law enforcement agencies shall be provided direct access to the data available on the digital sky platform.