According to the aviation ministry:
Till the new law kicks in, flying drones (by any non-governmental agency or any individual) without prior approval from the governmental authorities is illegal in India. Until recreational drone laws are formalised, flying them is prohibited by the Director General of Civil Aviation. And because there are no recreational drone laws currently, UAV laws apply to drones India.
This illegality comes from perceived security risks that UAVs can be used potentially to carry out aerial attacks, and can pose threats if not regulated. Therefore, till such time drone regulations are announced, drones are illegal in India.
Drones fall into a grey area in India . Because there are no specific drone laws, drones are both governed, and not governed by UAV laws in India. As the current prohibition does not apply to the sale of drones, you can buy a drone in India but you cannot fly it. Strange, but true.
Find out which drone and drone accessories I use, and recommend.
There are several people, who I personally know, who have drones in India. And of course, they do fly their drones ever so often. India is a massive country, and the chances of getting caught are very slim (unless they fly it directly over crowded areas). And if you do get caught, you’re left at the mercy of the police officer, who could fine you or simply accept a bribe.
However, drones have become a fairly common sighting at weddings in India. As weddings are a private event, pilots can fly their drones over the venue.
If you’re traveling to India on a vacation I would advise you to not to carry your drone. It’s best to avoid any issues with the police or authorities. As you’ve just read, drone laws in India are loosely defined, and it is up to the police’s discretion to decide how to handle each case. More often than not, it can be a pain.
But of course, you can carry your drone by checking in the body and propellers into your bag. And fly in remote locations without attraction any attention.
There are no well defined penalties for flying drones in India. There have been instances from drone operators being jailed, to having their drone broken. And travelers transiting through India have had their propellers confiscated at the airport! Just goes to show how unfriendly India is when it comes to drones.
And if that was’t enough, according to a news article published in September 2017, the Home Ministry has plans to acquire high power electromagnetic systems to deal with drones.
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