India’s Drone Rules 2021: Here Is What The New Rules Say About Drone Weight And Sizes


The Government of India has released The Drone Rules 2021 for the use of unmanned aircrafts in India. The Ministry Of Civil Aviation of the Government of India has officially notified the rules, following up from the draft policy released earlier this summer. The new rules define ownership for private and commercial drones in India, drone usage and approvals, weight classifications, registration of existing drones, zonal restrictions and airspace maps, remote pilot licenses as well as training organization as well as a push for Made in India technologies, designs, components, and unmanned aircraft systems as well as Indian regional navigation satellite systems. Within the new rules, drones have been clearly classified by weight and payload capabilities.

The rules have classified drones and unmanned aircraft in five categories. The first is for drones and similar unmanned aircraft of less than or equal to 250 grams as Nano unmanned aircraft system. The weight mark of more than 250 grams but less than 2kg is classified as Micro unmanned aircraft system. The weight between 2kg and up to 25kg has been classified as Small unmanned aircraft system. The weight between 25kg and less than 150kg is classified as Medium unmanned aircraft system. And for the heavier aircrafts and drone above 150 kgs, those will be classified as Large unmanned aircraft system.

The Drone Rules 2021 also state that unmanned aircraft system shall be categorized in three categories only—aircraft, rotorcraft, and hybrid unmanned aircraft system. There will be three further sub-categories—remotely piloted aircraft system, model remotely piloted aircraft system, and autonomous unmanned aircraft system. “No person shall operate an unmanned aircraft system in India unless such unmanned aircraft system conforms to a type certificate or is exempted from the requirement of a type certificate under these rules,” say The Drone Rules 2021. Also, all imports of unmanned aircraft systems shall be regulated by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade or any other entity authorised by the Central Government.