Guidelines for Operating Civil Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)
Offi ce of the Director General of Civil Aviation, Government of India has issued draft Guidelines for obtaining Unique Identifi cation Number (UIN) and Operation of Civil Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Coordinates invites comments on this
The UAS consists of an Unmanned Aircraft (UA), a Remote Pilot Station (RPS), Command and Control (C2) Link, the maintenance system and the operating personnel. Unmanned aircraft are either pilotless or do not carry pilot(s) on board. Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), Autonomous Aircraft and Model Aircraft are various types of unmanned aircraft.
ICAO Circular 328 highlights various issues and complexities involved with respect to civil UAS such as; regulatory issues, legal matters, operations, certification of aircraft and systems, personnel licensing, etc. ICAO has also issued Doc 10019 AN/507: “Manual on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)” which provides guidance to contracting states. ICAO has amended Annex 2 (Rules of the Air) to cover Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), which is an unmanned aircraft piloted from a remote pilot station. However, at present Standard and Recommended Practice (SARPs) in Annex 6 (Operations) and Annex 8 (Airworthiness) on UAS are not available.
Civilian use of UAS includes damage assessment of property and life in areas affected with natural calamities, surveys; critical infrastructure monitoring including power facilities, ports, and pipelines; commercial photography, aerial mapping, etc. They are also increasingly proliferating into recreational field and are likely to be used in many other domains.
UA operations present problems to the regulator in terms of ensuring safety of other users of airspace and persons on the ground. However, in view of technological advancements in UAS over the years and their increased civil applications, it has become necessary to develop guidance material to regulate this activity.
This Circular lays down guidelines for obtaining UIN & operation of civil UAS.All the UAS operators are required to adhere to these guidelines in the interest of flight Safety. DGCA will register all civil Unmanned Aircraft and issue a UA Operator Permit (UAOP) on case to case basis.
3. Category of UA
Civil UA are classified in accordance with weight of UA as indicated below:
i) Micro : Less than twokg.
ii) Mini : Greater than two kg and less than 20kg.
iii) Small : Greater than 20 kg and less than 150kg.
iv) Large : Greater than 150kg.
4. Issue of Unique Identification Number (UIN)
4.1 All unmanned aircraft intended to be operated in India will require an Unique Identification Number (UIN) issued from DGCA. The UIN can be granted onlyto:
a) a citizen of India;or
b) a company or a body corporate providedthat:
i) it is registered and has its principal place of business withinIndia;
ii) its chairman and at least two-thirds of its directors are citizens of India; and,
iii) its substantial ownership and effective control is vested in Indiannationals;
4.2 Following documents are required to be submitted to DGCA for issue ofUIN:
a) Address of Operator along with contact details with valid identity proof. In case of a company/organization, TIN number will beaccepted;
b) Purpose of operation of UA;
c) Specification of UAS (manufacturer name, type, model number, year of manufacture, weight and size, type of propulsion system, flyingcapabilities in terms of maximum endurance, range and height, etc. including detailsof equipment);
d) Verification of character and antecedents of the operator and remote pilots from local sub-divisional police office;
e) Permission for all frequencies used in UAS operations from Department of Telecommunication (Wireless Planning and CoordinationWing);
f) Copy of Unmanned Aircraft Flight Manual(UAFM);
g) Copy of Manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines forUAS;
4.3 The identification plate (made of fire proof material) inscribed with UIN and RF ID tag or SIM shall be affixed to the UA, and appropriate makes to identify ownership.
5. UA Operator Permit (UAOP)
5.1 All civil UA operations at or above 200ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace for any purpose whatsoever will require UAOP fromDGCA.
5.2 Operation of civil UA in controlled airspace isrestricted.
5.3 Following entities will not require UAOP fromDGCA
a) Civil UA operations below 200ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace and clear of notified prohibited, restricted and danger areas as well as Temporary Segregated Areas (TSA) and Temporary Reserved Areas (TRA). In addition, the operator shall obtain permission from local administration, the concerned ADC.
b) Model aircraft operating below 200ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace & indoor UA for recreational purposes only. (Aero modelling activities carried out within the premises of educational institutions will be considered as recreational purposes).
6. Procedure for Issuance of UAOP
6.1 The operator having an UIN intended to conduct civil operation of a UA at or above 200ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace shall submit his application for UAOP to DGCA along with followingdocuments:
a) Permission from ANS provider (civil/defense);
b) Permission of the land / property owner (when operated below 200 ft AGL and area used for take-off and landing ofUA);
c) Details of Remote Pilot(s) and training records;
d) Insurance details ifapplicable;
e) Security Clearance of firms/ operator of UA fromBCAS;
6.2 The application shall be submitted at least 90 days prior to actual conduct of UA operations to Director Regulations & Information (DRI), O/o DGCA for issue of UAOP.
6.3 Upon being satisfied on the following issues, DGCA may issue UAOP for UA operations:
a) That the operator has produced and will keep up to date UAFM, specifying procedures to be followed by remote pilots and other relevant persons to ensure the safety of UAoperations;
b) Thattheoperatorhasestabli shedmaintenancesystem,d etailsofwhichwill be kept up to date at alltimes.
6.4 The UAOP shall contain at least the following information:
a) Name and location (main place of business) of theoperator;
b) Date of issue and period ofvalidity;
c) Scope and description of the type of operationsauthorized;
d) Area ofoperation;
e) Type(s) of UA authorized for use;
f) Unique Identification Number (UIN) ofUA; g) Special limitations, if any (e.g. not over populous areas,etc.);
h) List of approved personnel for operation of UAS (security clearance of personnel will berequired);
i) Insurance validity with respect to allliabilities;
6.5 Validity of UAOP shall be for period of two years from date of issue and is not transferrable. Renewal of NOC shall require security clearance from MHA & BCAS. .
6.6 CopyofUAOPshallbeforward edtoMHA,BCAS,IAF,ANSPr ovider(AAI/MoD), and Local Administration/ concerned state’s DGP/ Local ASP forinformation.
6.7 Import permission shall be obtained from DGCA based on which DGFT shall provide licence for import of UAS.
6.8 DGCA may impose additional requirements/ waive off requirements depend upon justification on case to casebasis.
7. Security Aspect
7.1 The UAS (issued with UIN) shall not be sold or disposed of in any way to any person or firm without permission fromDGCA.
7.2 The owner/operator shall be responsible for the safe custody, security and access control of the UAS. In case of loss of UA, the operator shall report immediately to local administration/ police, BCAS andDGCA.
7.3 The operator shall ensure that all security measures are in place before operation of each flight.
7.4 Owner/operator is responsible for notifying any incident/ accident during flying of the UA to Director of Air Safety, DGCA and BCAS within 24hours.
8. Training requirements for remote pilots
8.1 Remote pilot should have attained 18 years of age and have thorough ground training equivalent to that undertaken by aircrew of manned aircraft or a PPL holder (aeroplane/ helicopter) with FRTOL.
8.2 Remote pilots shall undertake thorough practical training in the control of a UA in flight, which may consist of a proportion of simulated flighttraining.
8.3 The training should enable the remote pilot to demonstrate that he/she can control a specific UA throughout its operating conditions, including safe recovery of UA in case of emergencies and system malfunction.
8.4 The above training requirements for remote pilots are not applicable for micro category UA & recreationalflying.
9. UAS Maintenance
9.1 Maintenance and repair of UAS should be carried out in accordance with manufacture’s approved procedures.
9.2 Maintenance of the ground control equipment should be in accordance with manufacture’s recommended period of inspection and overhaul, asapplicable.
9.3 The remote pilot shall not fly the UA unless before the flight he/she is reasonably satisfied that all the control systems of UA including the radio link are in working condition.
9.4 The UAOP holder shall maintain records of each UA flight and makes such records available to the DGCA ondemand.
10. Requirement for operation of UA
10.1 Irrespective of weight category, the UAS operator shall intimate Local Administration, ATS unit (for operations at or above 200ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace), BCAS, Aerodrome operator (if applicable) before commencement and after termination of operation. In the event of cancellation of UA operations, the operator shall notify the same to all appropriate authorities as soon aspossible.
10.2 The operator shall refer to Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) and active NOTAM regarding details of notified prohibited, restricted and danger areas (airspace) including TRA and TSA. The operation shall be restricted to areas outside the boundaries (lateral and vertical) of above mentioned areas in the uncontrolled airspace.
10.3 The operator shall carry out safety assessment of the UA operations including the launch/ recovery sites. The UAS operation site (including emergency operation zone and any safety zone for the operations of the UAS) shall be under the operator’s full control.
10.4 Privacy and Protection of Personnel/ property/ data shall be given due importance.
10.5 UA shall be operated in accordance with the rules governing the flights of manned aircraft as specified in CAR Section 9, Series C, Part I (Rules of the Air).
10.6 UA should be able to comply with regulations applicable to the class of airspace within which they intend tooperate as specified in CAR Section 9, Series E, Part I (Air Traffic Services).
10.7 For operations at or above 200ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace, the UA operator shall file a flight plan and obtain necessary clearances with concerned ATS unit and ADC.
10.8 The flight plan shall contain the following information, but not limited to the following:
a) Description of the intended operation (to include type of operation or purpose), flight rules, visual lineof- sight operation, date of intended flight(s), point of departure, destination, cruising speed(s), cruising level(s), route to be followed, duration/frequency offlight.
b) Performance characteristics of UA, including operating speed, maximum climb rate, maximum rate of descent, maximum turn rate, maximum range andendurance.
c) Number and location of remote pilotstations.
d) Fixed Payloadinformation/ description.
e) Proof of adequate insurance/ liabilitycoverage.
f) Contact number of the remote pilot and/or RPS in field 18 of the Flight Plan.
10.9 The UAV shall enter the controlled airspace only with the prior approval of the ANS provider, which will be in the form of an airways clearance. The SOP shall contain take-off/landing procedure, collision avoidance procedure, noise abatement, flight plan filing, local airspace restriction, right-of-way rules, communications requirements, UA emergency procedures, pre co-ordination and procedures necessary to safely recover UA through controlled airspace in case UA system failure precludes the ability to remain outside controlled airspace, etc. AIP Supplement of AAI may be referred for flying outside the controlairspace.
10.10 Prior to the operations of UA, the operating personnel shall be in coordination with the appropriate ATS Authority, and Local police station probably through VHF/ landline/ two mobile phones with independent serviceproviders.
10.11 Remote pilots should prefix RPA call sings with the word UNMANNED during voice communications between ATC and the remote pilotstation.
10.12 The operator shall ensure that the UA is flown within 500m Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) during the entire period of the flight. (Applicable for micro and miniUA)
10.13 International operations of civil UAS (flying across the territory) and/or over water shall be strictly prohibited. The UA shall not be flown over the entire air space over the territory of Delhi (30km radius from Rashtrapati Bhavan) and areas falling within 50 km from the international borders. Also, UA shall not be flown over other sensitive locations viz. nuclear stations, military facilities and strategic locations.
10.14 UA flight shall be conducted as per the manufacture’s approved UAFM available with the remote pilot within the Remote Pilot Station (RPS).
10.15 UA shall be operated (as VFR flight only) when the following meteorological conditions exist: a) During daylight with Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) having ground visibility of 5 km. b) Surface winds of not more than 20 knots (measured using hand held anemometer atsite). c) Cloud base not lower than the approved altitude of operations.
10.16 The UAS operator shall not launch the UA when rain/ thunderstorm warning is in force.
10.17 The UAS operator shall have adequate means to ensure that the actual altitude flown isaccurate. 10.18 The operator shall be responsible for ensuring that the UAV is operated safely and remains clear of air traffic including other UAs and obstructions except where operation in close proximity of obstacles has been authorized on the operator’s UAOP.
10.19 The take-off and landing area should be properly segregated from public access.
10.20 Designated “safe areas” should be established by the UAS operator for emergency UA holding and flight terminations. 10.21 UA shall not discharge or drop substances unless specially cleared and mentioned in UAOP. UA shall not carry any explosives/ dangerous goods, animals/ human payloadetc.
10.22 Operator shall ensure that no Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is caused to air traffic operations and air navigationequipment.
10.23 The UA shall have following components/equipment: a) Identification plate and/ or RFID; b) SIM card slot for an app based tracking (Mandatory for Micro & MiniUA); c) SSR transponder (Mode ‘C’ or ‘S’) or ADS-B option (Mandatory for Small & Large UA); d) GPS/ INS (with option to GPS tracking and GeoFencing); e) Detect and avoid capability (if required, operator shall engage an RPA observer) f) Return Home option (mandatory in the event offailure) 10.24 For operation of large UA, it is recommended that reporting of UA position by the ground control station in ICAO standard ATFM format to ATS/ AD agencies.
11. Legal Obligations
11.1 UAOP issued by DGCA wouldnot:
a) Confer on UAS operator any right against the owner or resident of any land or building on or over which the operations are conducted, or prejudice in any way the rights and remedies which a person may havein respect of any injury to persons or damage to property caused directly or indirectly by the UA.
b) Absolve the operator/ remote pilot from compliance with any other regulatory requirement, which may exist under State or local law.
11.2 Any legal dispute as far as DGCA is concerned shall be settled at Delhi only.
All civil UAOP holders shall have insurance with the liability that they mightincur for any damage to third parties resulting from theaccident/incident.
13. Enforcement Action
The UAOP issued by DGCA shall be cancelled or suspended at any time if in the opinion of the DGCA, the performance of the Remote Pilot /maintenance of UAS is no longer to an acceptable standard.
(Smt. M. Sathiyavathy)
Director General of Civil Aviation