Own a drone in India? Here’s your guide to get it enlisted in a jiffy!

On 13th January’20, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) issued a public notice providing a one time opportunity for the voluntary disclosure of civil drones and drone operators on their Digital Sky platform by January 31. The Digital Sky Platform is an exclusive portal for national unmanned traffic management launched in 2018. This platform came up with a total count of 19,533 UAVs or drones in the country, which were registered in their January 14th-31st window earlier this year. On public demand, the MoCA decided to resume the drone registration last week, for those who missed it in the first phase. The registration started on June 8th and has been kept open-ended, so far.

Why is Enlisting important?

As per the ‘No permission-No take off’ policy, a drone user needs to use the DGCA’s software program DigiSky to obtain valid permissions before operating drones in India. Drone enlistment has two parts- after uploading the owner’s details- the owner would get a unique Ownership Acknowledgement Number (OAN). Using this OAN, the owner needs to upload the device’s information to get a Device Acknowledgment Number (DAN).

Each drone will require a fresh enlistment. Since a drone owner may have multiple drones, the owner shall use the same OAN to enlist all drones owned by him. A separate DAN will be issued for each drone.”, as per the registration website.

Most government tenders for drones ask for UIN (Unique Identification Number) or DAN as an eligibility condition. However, possession of an OAN or DAN does not confer the right to operate the drone in India if it does not fulfill the provisions given in the civil aviation requirements (CAR).

“ Ownership of a drone in India without a valid OAN and DAN shall invite penal action as per applicable laws.”

Keeping security implications in mind, the DGCA, in August 2018, issued a set of rules to regulate the use of drones in the Indian airspace, which requires obtaining UIN and UAOP (unmanned aircraft operator permit) and other operational requirements. This rule also states that people using non registered drones would be penalized under IPC 287 that is for “negligent conduct with respect to machinery” and provides for jail up to 6 months and/or fine up to Rs 1,000. The DGCA rule provides punishment under IPC sections 336, 337, 338, or any relevant section if anyone is found using an unregistered UAV.

Keep your documents ready

Make sure to keep the following documents handy while filling the enlistment form:-

1. Scanned copy of Passport’s first and last page (in one sheet) or Aadhaar card’s front and back view (in one sheet).

2. Three high-quality pictures of your drone: front-view, top-view; and a close-up view of the manufacturer’s serial number. Each picture should have a physical measuring-scale placed adjacent to the drone in order to provide a reasonable approximation of its dimensions.

3. Copy of any utility bill (electricity, water, gas, fixed-line telephone, or mobile phone) or a bank statement not older than 3 months.

4. Copy of the highest educational qualification (required ONLY for individual owners).

5. PAN card of the organization (NOT required for individual owners).

6. Letter on official letterhead certifying appointment of Authorised Signatory (NOT required for individual owners).

Each document or picture should be less than 300kb in size and if all the above-mentioned items are readily available with you, filling up the form would barely take 25 minutes of your time.

Join the growing drone community

According to official government data, 1,832 nano, 13,735 micro, 2,808 small, 140 medium, and 1,038 large drones or UAVs were registered during the stipulated time back in January’20.

“The registration was a significant achievement as far as we are concerned because we never expected such a high number,” said Amber Dubey, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, which carried out the survey.

“The registrations are just the beginning. Next, we will have the training of drone users, the tracking of drones, and the mapping to ensure that drones don’t intrude into sensitive areas,” Dubey added. The initiative ⁠ — akin to a ‘drone census’ ⁠ — is an attempt to identify civil drones and operators in India. All types of drones including models, prototypes, toys, RC aircraft, autonomous, and remotely piloted aircraft systems, will have to obtain a DAN, the Ministry informed.

Smit Shah, director of partnerships, Drone Federation of India, said, “The exercise will give us a picture of who owns what kind of drone in which part of the country. This data will help in making policy decisions and should ideally become the base for understanding the scale of drone operations in India. Finally, there is a way to get existing drones in the legal framework, and only if you register then in the future probably you will be considered, and some sort of a structure will be formed in which you can fly. This may enable the flying of drones easily in the future while maintaining high standards of safety, security, and accountability.”

Go on, tap the link — https://www.dronenlisting.dgca.gov.in/, to enlist your drones right now. Good luck!

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