Relaxing regulations for aspiring drone pilots, Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced the Drone (Amendment) Rules 2023, which aim to promote and facilitate drone operations across India. One of the key changes is the removal of the mandatory passport requirement for aspiring drone pilots.
Previously, having a passport was a prerequisite for obtaining a Remote Pilot Certificate, causing difficulties for many individuals, particularly in the agricultural sector in rural areas. In an effort to address this issue and further liberalize drone operations, the Ministry has now made it possible to submit a government-issued identity proof and address proof instead of a passport.
“The prerequisite of having a passport was becoming a hurdle for aspiring drone pilots, especially in the agricultural sector across rural India. This effort is to further liberalize, promote and facilitate drone operations across the country and make India a global drone hub by 2030,” stated a release from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Under the amended rules, individuals can use government-issued proofs of identity and address, such as Voter ID, Ration Card, or Driving License, when applying for a Remote Pilot Certificate. This change aims to make drone piloting more accessible to a wider range of individuals.
The new rules, effective from September 27, 2023, have been introduced under the authority granted by the Aircraft Act, 1934 (22 of 1934), specifically section 5, sub-section 2 of section 10, and sections 10A, 10B, and 12A.
These changes reflect the Ministry’s commitment to foster the growth of the drone industry in India and position the country as a global drone hub by 2030. By removing barriers to entry, the government aims to encourage more individuals, especially those in rural areas and the agricultural sector, to embrace drone technology and its potential benefits.