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If you're diving into the world of FPV drones in India or a hobbyist, navigating the legal landscape is crucial. Government regulations, as of August 2021, established the "Drones Rules, 2021" to regulate drone activities. Initially strict, the rules required even hobbyists to obtain a drone license. Recognizing the impracticality, the Ministry of Civil Aviation introduced the "Drone (Amendment) Rules, 2022" six months later to ease restrictions for smaller drones.

Remote Pilot Certificate Requirement

For FPV drones under 250 grams, no Remote Pilot Certificate is needed. However, if your drone weighs more than 2 kilograms or you're using micro drones for commercial purposes (above 500 grams), obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate from a DGCA-approved institute is mandatory.

Digital Sky Online Registration

Nano and micro drone users flying for non-commercial purposes are exempt from registering on the Digital Sky Online platform. However, altitude restrictions apply:

  • Nano drones: max 15m

  • Micro drones: max 60m

  • Small drones: max 120m

For medium and large drones, compliance with DGCA’s Operator Permit is essential. Speed restrictions also apply for nano and micro drones at 25 meters per second (jokes on you fpv race piolets). The Civil Aviation Ministry also provided a map which is available via the Digital Sky Online Platform helps to identify no-fly zones and free-fly zones.

  • Red - No-fly zone.

  • Yellow - Controlled Zone, requires permission to take off.

  • Green - Free-to-fly zones.

Importing Drones

Importing drones into India is prohibited, especially from China, which currently is the largest manufacturer and market leader, so you could as well say the government aims to boost local drone manufacturing. However, FPV hobbyists can breathe easy – while fully assembled drones face restrictions, importing drone components is allowed, please try to restraint importing Li-po batteries; (airlines has regulatory norms for flying Li-Pos, please follow them if you plan to). Besides that, in the past two years, there has been an increase in the number of drone components available in India from online retailers. Availability of components has increased rapidly through local retailers.

In conclusion, these regulations bring good news for FPV hobbyists, focusing on easing restrictions and promoting local drone building. Be aware that penalties for violating drone regulations can go up to ₹1 lakh. For a detailed look at the published Drone Regulations, check the official link.

Happy flying within the legal skies of India!


Image by Dmitriy Zub

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“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward…” – Leonardo da Vinci.

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