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Drone Registration Process in India:
DGCA has launched a digital platform for the registration of drones in India, this has further helped in envisioning an India where drones can be used for various commercial purposes, many laws and policies have also been made in order to make this happen. Unmanned Aircraft (UA)'s regulations have been updated by GoI in 2019 in order to avoid any unauthorized flights, to build a potential standard of UAs and maintain the architecture.

The "no permission, no takeoff" (NPNT) rule acquired by GoI, is to help manage the UAs via UTM or unmanned traffic management system, which was designed per the Civil aviation requirements (CAR). These regulations include: registration of the UAs, flight plans, permissions and certification to guarantee one has received adequate training to operate an aircraft.


How to Get a Drone Flying License in India: Your Step-by-Step Guide

The Various Categories of Drones:
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has classified various drones or UAs as per their weight as drones come in various sizes and design. Here are the list of drones:
1) Nano Drones: less than equal to 250 grams
2) Micro Drones: more than 250 grams but less than equal to 2 kg.
3) Small Drones: more than 2kg - 25kg
4) Medium Drones: more than 25 kg upto 150 kg
5) Large Drones: weighing more than 150 kg.

The Registration Procedure:

It is mandated by GoI that every drone or UA has to be registered via Digital Sky Platform and in return a UIN and UAOL license will be issued. Further you need to be adequately trained and get all the required permissions before becoming a licensed drone pilot.

The Registration Steps:

1) Digital Sky Platform: This online platform by DGCA has been launched to ease down the entire registration and documentation procedure.
2) User Registration: In order to register with the Digital Sky Platform some basic steps have to be followed. This procedure helps keep track or all registered and authorized drones and users.
Step1: For users who want to register for Nano drones or UAs weighing 250 grams, you need to click on the link given> Select over > Select category if you want to be registered as a remote pilot/operator or manufacturer > Click on the required sub category > finally click on register.
Step 2: Once you have clicked register, you need to fill up the mandatory fields with appropriate information and then click on Sign Up.
Step 3: Once your registration has been successfully completed with the Digital Sky Platform, you will receive a notification in your registered email ID. 
Step4: Click on the link provided in the mail. The user will then be able to view through the various types of drones and select accordingly. 
Step 5: Once you have selected your drone profile, fill in the page with required intel. 
Step 6: upload your training certificate> Select the type of Drone and finally 
Step 7: Click Submit

UIN License for Drones: 

In order for a user to get a UIN license for Drones that weigh above 250 grams one is mandated to be registered at the Digital Sky Platform. Once the user is successfully registered with the Digital Sky Platform the procedure for Drone registration ensues. The user then will be required to choose the any of the following options and register their drone:

  • Apply here for Local Drones (manufactured in India)
  • Apply here for Import Drones (manufactured abroad)
  • Apply here for UAOP License

The user is then required to fill in apt credentials in the following:

  • Name, address and PAN details of the owner
  • Drone Type
  • Model Number
  • Serial Number
  • OEM Certificate (certificate received from manufacturer)
  • NPL Letter
  • Name, address and Manufacturer's nationality 
  • Maximum take-off weight and height attainable
  • Details of compatible payload 

Once the aforementioned credentials are filled the user will now have to make payments in order to apply for the UIN. These are the following registration fees:
1) UIN- Rs 1000
2) UAOP License- Rs 25,000
3) Renewable of UAOP- Rs 10,000.

The Training Process:

DGCA has mandated that one must acquire proper training before operating a drone. The training program is important in order to avert any risk. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has enlisted both technical and theoretical knowledge for users to be qualified in order to operate both personal or commercial drones. This training program aids for emergencies and system failures.
In order to receive this training one must be registered with a DGCA certified aviation school. This training procedure is designed under the Aircraft Rules, 1934. 
These are the following subjects included in the training:
1) Radio Telephony 
2) Flight Planning and ATC procedure.
3) Aviation Meteorology
4) Knowledge of Aerodynamics.
5) Air Navigation

Eligibility Criterion:

1) The pilot is mandated to be 18 or above 
2) Is required to have passed their matriculation or 10th class in English.
3) Must go through the entire training procedure from a DGCA certified aviation school.
4) Must get the security clearance from MHA.

DGCA certified Institutions:

DGCA has made it mandatory that an RPL is required for anyone flying above 200 feet. DGCA is responsible for ensuring the proper training of individuals and monitors and prepares curriculum. These institutions works by the rules laid by DGCA and functions with all the important requirements.
Members who are eligible for the Remote Pilot License or RPL:
1) Members who have successfully received their PPL and are looking forward in receiving the operators certificate.
2) Professionals or Members who take keen interest in drone technology.
3) Members that desire to acquire UAV piloting and operational skills.
4) Military personnel who want to widen their knowledge and training arena for actively using it for Defense forces 
5) For commercial uses: Members who need to deliver products timely from businesses to customers 
6) Social media: YouTubers, Bloggers, Photographers who require to use drone technology for their professional requirements and need to fly above 200 ft 7) Members assigned with special tasks: rescue missions, wildlife tracking and so on.

No permission, No takeoff 

The NPNT (No permission, no takeoff) is an app that has been developed for the users to help them connect with the Ministry of operational purposes during any time of need. The app is designed to monitor whether or not the user can be given the permission to operate at that particular time. This app was designed in order to assist for commercial requirements such as timely delivery of products, Bloggers and YouTubers, rescue missions, carrying hospital requirements. This app helps in the reception and acceptance of takeoff requests. If the app denies request, the user is not permitted to operate at that moment and one needs to abide by it.
Viewing the operators convenience, the app is installed in the required electronic device.

The Drone Registration Procedure:

Step 1: Once the drone has been obtained it is important to check the OEM Certificate provided by the manufacturer and the NPL Letter.
Step 2: You then need to register with the Digital Sky Platform.
Step 3: Get your UIN from the Digital Sky Platform.
Step 4: Mark the UIN on the UA.
Step 5: You then need to apply for your UAOP License through Digital Sky Platform.
Step 6: Apply for your Remote Pilot License (RPL) for the completion of your training program from a DGCA approved institution
Step 7: Install NPNT.
The users need to get their one time registration of their drones, pilots and owners. Then the NPNT app will be installed in your mobile app, where for every flight, you need to ask for permissions. The NPNT app then allows or denims the request. This procedure is very important to distinguish between unauthorized flights that helps in maintaining public security. Any drone that does not have a digital permit shall abide by it and will not takeoff.