To facilitate identification of civil drones and operators that do not meet regulatory norms, the government has launched a one-time opportunity to voluntarily register them.
The registrations, which began on January 14, will be open for a fortnight. It will provide an accurate number of drones in India, estimated to be between 4 lakh and 6 lakh.
Smit Shah, director of partnerships, Drone Federation of India, said the drone policy did not first account for the drones existing in the market. He said, The exercise will give us a picture of who owns what kind of drone in which part of the country. This data will help in making policy decisions and should ideally become the base for understanding the scale of drone operations in India.
The policy essentially saw drones as a new product and did not consider all the drones in the country. Since one cannot retrofit the drones in the market to comply with the rules, it was decided to hold a one-time voluntary registration.
All drone operators are required to register on the Digital Sky portal: http://digitalsky.dgca. gov.in. They will be issued an Operator Acknowledgement Number (OAN) and a Drone Acknowledgement Number (DAN) for each drone registered under the operators profile.
However, possessing a DAN or OAN does not confer any right to operate drones in India if it does not fulfil the provisions given in the civil aviation requirements (CAR).
Mr. Shah said, Finally, there is a way to get existing drones in the legal framework and only if you register then in the future probably you will be considered, and some sort of a structure will be formed in which you can fly. This may enable flying of drones easily in the future while maintaining high standards of safety, security and accountability.
After the January 31 deadline, ownership of a drone without a valid DAN or OAN shall invite penal action under sections of the Indian Penal Code.