The new drone policy announced by the government on Thursday has done away with security clearance before registration and has reduced licence fee to nominal levels. The Drone Rules 2021 will cover craft upto 500 kg, and will include heavy payload-carrying drones and drone taxis, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry.

"The new Drone Rules usher in a landmark moment for this sector in India. The new rules will tremendously help start-ups and our youth working in this sector," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Thursday.

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Among the steps announced is the provision for creating drone corridors for cargo deliveries. Here are the key features of the new policy:

*To streamline the processes, several approvals have been abolished.

* DGCA shall prescribe drone training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online.

*Types of fee have been reduced from 72 to 4 and the number of forms from from 25 to 5.

* Quantum of fee has been reduced to nominal levels and delinked from the size of the drone. For instance, the fee for a remote pilot licence fee has been reduced from ₹3,000 (for large drones) to ₹100 for all categories of drones; and is valid for 10 years.

*  Digital sky platform shall be developed as a user-friendly single-window system, the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement.

* No permission is now required for operating drones in green zones. Green zone means the airspace up to a vertical distance of 400 feet or 120 metre that has not been designated as a red zone or yellow zone in the airspace map; and the airspace upto a vertical distance of 200 feet or 60 metre above the area located between a lateral distance of 8 and 12 kilometre from the perimeter of an operational airport.

*Yellow zone has been reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.

* No requirement for security clearance before issuance of any registration or licence.

* There will be no restriction on foreign ownership in Indian drone companies.

* Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also.

*Manufacturers and importers may generate their drones’ unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.

* Drones present in India on or before November 30, 2021 will be issued a unique identification number through the digital sky platform provided, they have a DAN, a GST-paid invoice and are part of the list of DGCA-approved drones.

* Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.

* DGCA shall prescribe drone training requirements, oversee drone schools and provide pilot licences online.

*Types of fee have been reduced from 72 to 4 and the number of forms from from 25 to 5.

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* Quantum of fee has been reduced to nominal levels and delinked from the size of the drone. For instance, the fee for a remote pilot licence fee has been reduced from Rs 3,000 (for large drones) to Rs 100 for all categories of drones; and is valid for 10 years.

*  Digital sky platform shall be developed as a user-friendly single-window system, the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement.

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* No permission is now required for operating drones in green zones. Green zone means the airspace up to a vertical distance of 400 feet or 120 metre that has not been designated as a red zone or yellow zone in the airspace map; and the airspace upto a vertical distance of 200 feet or 60 metre above the area located between a lateral distance of 8 and 12 kilometre from the perimeter of an operational airport.

*Yellow zone has been reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.

* No requirement for security clearance before issuance of any registration or licence.

* No restriction on foreign ownership in Indian drone companies.

* Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also.

*Manufacturers and importers may generate their drones’ unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.

* Drones present in India on or before November 30, 2021 will be issued a unique identification number through the digital sky platform provided, they have a DAN, a GST-paid invoice and are part of the list of DGCA-approved drones.

* Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.