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Centre releases India's airspace map for drone operations

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    5th Oct, 2021

Context

Ministry of Civil Aviation released India’s airspace map for drone operations.

About

  • The drone airspace map is an interactive map of India that demarcates the yellow and red zones across the country. 
  • The airspace map may be modified by authorized entities from time to time.
  • Anyone planning to operate a drone should mandatorily check the latest airspace map for any changes in zone boundaries.
  • The drone airspace map is freely available on the digital sky platform to all without any login requirements.
  • The map is available on DGCA’s digital sky platformat https://digitalsky.dgca.gov.in/home.

Green Zone

  • Green zone is the airspace upto 400 feet that has not been designated as a red or yellow zone; and upto 200 feet above the area located between 8-12 km from the perimeter of an operational airport.
  • In green zones, no permission whatsoever is required for operating drones with an all-up weight upto500 kg. 

Yellow Zone

  • Yellow zone is the airspace above 400 feet in a designated green zone; above 200 feet in the area located between 8-12 km from the perimeter of an operational airport and above ground in the area located between 5-8 km from the perimeter of an operational airport.
  • Drone operations in yellow zone require permission from the concerned air traffic control authority – AAI, IAF, Navy, HAL etc. as the case may be. 
  • Yellow zone has been reduced from 45 km earlier to 12 km from the airport perimeter.

Red Zone

  • Red zone is the ‘no-drone zone’ within which drones can be operated only after a permission from the Central Government.

Background

  • The drone airspace map comes as a follow-through of the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021released by the Central Government on 25 August 2021, the PLI scheme for drones released on 15 September 2021 and the Geospatial Data Guidelines issued on 15 Feb 2021. 
  • All these policy reforms will catalyse super-normal growth in the upcoming drone sector.

Significance of the initiative

  • Drones offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectorsof 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 growthdue to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.   
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