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drone rules

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Generic RulesGeneric Rules
Drone Owner or <br/> OperatorDrone Owner or
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R&D OrganisationR&D Organisation

Generic Rules

Know these generic rules that are applicable to all section of drone fliers.

1. Category of Drones

Drones have been divided into different categories and sub-categories based on their configuration and Maimum take-off weight (MTOW).

Drone category, sub-category and class

1.1 Category based on configuration


An aeroplance is a power-driven fixed wing aircraft that is heavier than air. It is propelled by a screw propeller and derives its lift from aerodynamic reactions.



Rotorcraft is a heavier-than-air aircraft supported in flight by the reactions of the air on one or more power driven rotors on substantially vertical axes.



Hybrid category drone is a heavier-than-air aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing which depends principally on power-driven lift devices or engine thrust for the lift during the flight regimes and on non-rotating air foil for lift during horizontal flight.


Any UAV which does not fit in Aeroplane, Rotorcraft or Hybrid, falls under the Other category.

1.2 Sub Categories

Model RPAS

A model RPA is used for educational purposes and has weight not exceeding 25 kgs. It is flown within the visual line of sight of the operator.


The term RPAs is used for Uncrewed aircrafts (UA). It means Remote Pilot Aircraft, its associated remote pilot station, the required command and control links and any of the other components. There are 3 subsets of UA - Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Autonomous Aircraft and Model Aircraft.

Autonomous RPAS

This refers to an uncrewed aircraft system that does not require pilot intervention in the management of the flight.

1.3 Classification based on weight


Maximum take off weight (MTOW) is less than 250g



MTOW is between 250g & 2kg



MTOW is between 2kg and 25kg



MTOW is between 25kg and 150kg



MTOW is greater than 150kg

2. Flying Zones & Altitude

India has been divided into three airspace zones based on the sensitivity of the area.

2.1 Types of Airspace Zones
Red Zone

Red Zone

Highly restricted area where UAV flying can be permitted only by the Central Gov. Eg: Airports, International Borders etc.

Yellow Zone

Yellow Zone

Restricted area where UAVs can be flown post permission from a nearest Air Traffic Controller. Eg: Area near the airport, military areas

Green Zone

Green Zone

Unrestricted Zones where drones can fly upto 400 ft without permission, and upto 200 ft in areas within 8-12km range of an operational airport

2.2 Altitude Restrictions

In a green zone, one could fly upto 400 ft without permission. For green zones lying between 8-12km of an airport, one could fly upto 200 ft without permission. Yellow zones and Red zones require permission from nearest Air Traffic Controller and Central Government, respectively.

Altitude Restrictions 01Altitude Restrictions 02

3. Drone Insurance

A remote pilot must know all the pre-requisites of flying a drone.

Drone insurance

As per Section X, Rule 44 of the Indian Drone Rules 2021, Third-Party insurance is mandatory.

Flying drones without insurance is illegal & a punishable offence.

4. Travelling with a drone in flights

Flying with drones in domestic flights have been permitted in India if these rules are followed:

Carrying a Nano drones

Carrying a Nano drones

A drone below 250 gm in weight can be carried either in the checked-in or cabin luggage. However, the batteries would have to be removed and be placed mandatorily in the cabin luggage. The airline carrier needs to be informed about drone luggage in advance.

Carrying micro, small and medium drones

Carrying micro, small and medium drones

These drones can be carried in checked-in luggage provided their batteries have been removed and placed separately in the cabin luggage. The airline carrier needs to be informed about drone lugagge in advance.

Spare Batteries

Spare Batteries

Any number of spare batteries with watt-hour (WH) less than 100 can be carried in the Cabin luggage. Maximum two batteries above 100 and less than 160 WH can be carried in the Cabin. No spare batteries above 160 WH is pemitted in Cabin. These must be shipped as Cargo.

International Travel with drones

International Travel with drones

A drone below 250 gm in weight can be carried either in the checked-in or cabin luggage. However, the batteries would have to be removed and be placed mandatorily in the cabin luggage. The airline carrier needs to be informed about drone luggage in advance.

5. Rules for hobby/recreational fliers

A Drone can be flown for fun/recreational purposes which could be shooting your vacation pictures or flying casually without deriving any commercial benefit. In these cases, there has been some leniency in rules.

5.1 Drone Registration for hobby fliers

It is mandatory for a hobby drone flier to register his/her drone even if it is a toy drone or a nano drone. Flying a drone for non-commercial use without a valid UIN/DAN would be an offense.

5.2 Pilot Certification exemption for non-commercial fliers

A non-commercial flier doesn’t require a Remote Pilot Certificate if:
a) The drone being flown is a nano or micro drone
b) The drone is being flown in a Green zone below the (400 ft) altitude limit

5.3 Insurance for non-commercial fliers

Third-Party liability insurance for the drone is mandatory for all categories of drones, except for nano drones. The insurance is similar to a motor/car insurance and it protects a drone fliers from damages that happens to a third person or property due to a drone crash or incident.

6. Selling/leasing/de-registering a pre-owned drone

There is a separate provision for transferring drones to a third person either for leasing or selling for permanent use. There is also a provision for de-registeration of drones if the drone is lost or permanently damaged.

6.1 Fill the form D-3 on Digital Sky

The nature of transfer, details of drones, details of transferor and details of transferee have to be listed in the form. In case of deregistration.

6.2 Pay the prescribed fee

As per the provision, a fee of Rs.100 has to be paid to the DGCA. The DGCA shall generate a transaction number post the validation of the documents.


7. Penalties & offences

The DGCA has laid down rules for offences and penalties that should be paid if any activity is carried in contravention of the rules.

7.1 Criminal Offenses
Criminal Offenses 01

Flying in a prohibited or restricted zones shall be treated as a cognizable and non-compoundable offense.

Criminal Offenses 02

Carrying arms, ammunitions, explosives and other prohibited articles as mentioned in Rule 27 of the Indian Drone Rules 2021 shall be a punishbale offense.

7.2 Penalty

The maximum penalty that can be imposed to a person if he has not followed a drone rule is INR One Lakh, as per section 10A of the act.


8. Drone Flying Risk

Drone flying risk is determined by two factors. It is either the risk of confiscation by the regulators or the risk of crashes in an area.

Risk Zone Map

View risk scores of your location in TropoGo map and plan your flight.

Risk Zone Map
Risk Zone Map
  • Know location risks before you fly your drone
  • Location Risk Score based on 20+ signals
  • Green Zones Mapped across India
  • Free for Personal & Commercial use
  • Detailed APIs available for Enterprise use
Open Drone Maps  

9. Government Stakeholders and Portals

Government Stakeholders & Portals

The government stakeholders have multiple roles and responsibilities in various aspects of drone operation including import clearance, UIN issuance, security clearance, approvals, and many more.

Portals by Government

Digital Sky

Single window digital platform by DGCA to issue licenses, approvals & clearances.

Visit Digital Sky >>


A government portal for various tenders including drones and services.

eProcurement >>


A MoCA portal that allows companies and enterprises to apply for security clearance.

Visit eSahaj >>


GeM is a Government eMarketplace that allows to market the products digitally.

Visit GeM >>

Government Stakeholders and Officials

Government Stakeholders

List of all government stakeholders related to legal drone purchase and flying.

Download the List >>

Government Officer’s List

Contacts of Officers in Charge for various step of legal drone purchase and flying.

Get the Contacts >>

10. A collection of important contacts in Indian drone administration

Indian Drone Directorate

Important contact list


You have got questions; we are happy to help with answers.

Q: How do I know if I am flying in a green zone or a red zone?

A: Before flying a drone, you must check the zone in the Aerospace map on the Digital Sky portal. Please note that the map is dynamic in nature, therefore a green zone can be coverted into a yellow or red zone without any prior information. Hence, it is advised to keep checking for the zones before every flight.

Q: Can I fly to any altitude in a green zone?

A: No, you can only fly upto 400 ft in a green zone. The vertical distance above 400 ft in a green zone becomes a Yellow zone and hence, the rules for yellow zone becomes applicable.

Q: I want to fly in a Yellow zone, How do I take a permission?

A: Yellow zone is a restricted space. You have to take a permission from the nearest Air Traffic Controller. You could download the TropoGo app to find the contact details of your nearest ATC.

Q: Can I travel with my DJI Mavic Mini drone for a vacation in a domestic flight?

A: Yes, you can. Declare the same with the aircraft carrier prior to your flight, remove the battery safely from the drone, and carry both the drone and the battery in the cabin luggage.

Q: I want to travel abroad with my drone. What are the rules?

A: International flight rules differ from that of the domestic flights. Therefore, it is advised to get in touch with the flight operator and immigration of the destination country before carrying your drone.

Q: Can I bring a drone to India from abroad?

A: As per the latest notification by DGCA, import of a drone is banned in India. However, you may bring an old drone for your personal use but you need to inform the airline and take necessary permissions from the DCGA before doing so. DGCA HelpDesk on drones: Toll free: 1-800-121-9142 & 1-800-103-5780


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