How to be a drone pilot in India: Courses, fees, license and all details you need to know!
Considering that companies like Swiggy and Dunzo are testing drone delivery of food and medicines by partnering with startups like ANRA Technologies and Skye AirMobility respectively.
With this, it seems that the tech industry in India is seriously considering drones for business mobility.
A majority of delivery packages in India weigh less than 3KG. This is the possible result of a survey conducted.
This makes it possible for a medium drone to deliver packages like food, vaccines, medicines and other essentials.
So, with the increased usage of drones, the demand for skilled drone operators or UAV pilots will be more and knowing how to operate a drone may be considered as a desired skill.
The government in 2018 released a set of strict guidelines for drone owners, operators and manufacturers, to ensure that all drones are identified and their operators are known.
Also, proper approvals and permits are required to fly drones that weigh above 2KG. Here’s all the details on how to be a trained drone operator in India.
If you wish to be a drone pilot then you should be trained from a training centre authorised by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
You need to have proper documents and will have to register as a “Remote Pilot” to obtain your “Pilot Identification number” and Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP).
You do not need to buy a drone to enroll yourself for a drone training program in India.
The drone and training kits are provided by all the DGCA approved training institutes.
The required eligibility criterias are basic.
You need to be at least 18 years of age and pass 10th Standard (in English).
Only after the above necessities being fulfilled, you can join any training institute to become a drone pilot.
The government mandates that the ground training needs to be obtained at any DGCA approved Flying Training Organization (FTO). And, it includes the following theory subjects:
Most drone training programs are short and mostly around five to seven days.
You do not need to own a drone to get trained. All required training kits including the drone are provided by the training institutes.
The course is of five to seven days drone pilot training course at any of the DGCA authorised training institute.
The applicable are mostly upwards of Rs 65,000 and less than Rs 1 lakh. • The fees include all kits and training materials.
List of DGCA approved Flying Training Organisations:
|Name of Institution||Location of Institution|
|1)||Alchemist Aviation Pvt. Ltd.||Sonari Aerodrome
Jamshedpur – 831011
|2)||Ambitions Flying Club Pvt. Ltd||
MS- 10, NH-91, Aligarh Airstrip
Dhanipur, Post Panethi
Aligarh – 202001
|3)||Flytech Aviation Academy||
A1-Kauser, Plot No.295
Road No. 10, West Maredpally
|4)||Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Akademy||Fursatganj
Dist. Raebareilly – 229302
|5)||Pioneer Flying Academy Pvt. Ltd||
Dhanipur Airport, Post Panethi
Aligarh – 202001
|6)||Redbird Flight Training Academy Pvt. Ltd.||Baramati Airport
|7)||The Bombay Flying Club||
Juhu Airport, Santacruz (W)
|8)||Telangana State Aviation Academy||Old Airport Road
Near New Bowenpally
Hyderabad – 500011
You need to get yourself and your drone registered before you can fly.
Also, you would need to comply with NPNT requirements.
NPNT or ‘No Permission – No Take-off’ is a software program. It enables every drone (except Nano) to obtain a valid permission through DigitalSky platform before operating in India.
There are five categories of drones in India:
|Drone Categories||Weight & Size details|
|1)||Nano||Less than or equal to 250 grams.|
|2)||Micro||Greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg.|
|3)||Small||Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.|
|4)||Medium||Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.|
|5)||Large||Greater than 150 kg.|
Nano drones (less than 250 gm) are exempted from obtaining UIN and UAOP. You need to ensure that you do not fly it beyond 50 ft (15m) AGL.
“Also, ensure you are not flying in controlled airspace and no other manned or unmanned aircraft is flying nearby. • If operations are to be done in controlled airspace you need to apply for UIN, UAOP and your RPA must be NPNT compliant. • It is recommended to fly in uncontrolled airspace/ enclosed premises and go through Do’s and Don’ts every time before you fly,” as per the DGCA.
All other drone operations in India require UIN and UAOP.
The government has a website named DigitalSky with the link “https://digitalsky.dgca.gov.in/”. It provides all necessary information about drones and flying drones in India.
For security clearance, you need to apply as per the form available in the CAR on RPAS.
Use eSahaj Online portal for processing security clearance applications at www.dgca.nic.in.
B) Pre Flight
C) During flight
D) Post Flight
A) On Boarding
B) Add your RPAS Prototype
C) Add manufactured RPAS
D) Post Flight
RPAS is a layman terminology for Unmanned Aircraft (UA). There are three subsets of Unmanned Aircraft.
a) Remotely Piloted Aircraft
b) Autonomous Aircraft
c) Model Aircraft
NOTE: An aircraft and its associated elements, which are operated with no pilot on board is called as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
2. What permissions are required to operate RPAs and from where?
Roles & responsibilities of govt. stakeholders on various aspects of operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft system.
|No.||Stakeholder Responsibility||Issuance certificates|
|1.||Directorate General of Civil Aviation||Import clearance, Issuance of UIN, Issuance & renewal of UAOP Suspension / Cancellation of UIN & UAOP in case of violations of regulations|
|2.||Directorate General of Foreign Trade||Import license|
|3.||Ministry of Home Affairs||Security clearance|
|4.||Ministry of Defense||Permission for aerial survey/imageries/ videography/ still photography over the restricted/prohibited areas on case-to-case basis|
|5.||Indian Air Force||Air Defense Clearance, Monitoring of RPA movements in the country|
|6.||Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, DoT||Equipment Type Approval (ETA) or License for RPA|
|7.||Bureau of Civil Aviation Security||Approval of Security Programme|
|8.||Airport Authority of India||Flight Plan Approval, Monitoring of RPA movements in the country|
|9.||Local Police Office||Enforcement of violators as per applicable IPCs|
3. Update, what are the requirements for import of RPAs (with or without camera) in India?
1. I am intending to locally purchase one RPA operating in a de-licensed frequency band, should I still require ETA from WPC Wing, DoT?
2. Tell me about UIN?
UIN is a unique identification number issued by DGCA for a particular RPA (except Nano).
3. How much is the fee for UIN & UAOP?
For UIN: – One thousand Indian Rupees (Rs.1000/-)
For fresh UAOP: – Twenty-Five Thousand Rupees (Rs.25,000/-)
4. Is delivery of items allowed under the DGCA CAR on UAS?
Not allowed as of now.
5. Disclose me, what are no-RPA zones?
Areas over which flying a RPA is prohibited/ restricted. Make sure to go through the list of RPA zones in Civil Aviation Requirements.
Stay safe and connected.
Keep following us for the latest updates!
You cannot copy content of this page