As far as the situation goes for now. Legally anybody who’s a Non Indian still can’t fly a drone here. A new set of laws came that finally legalised drones from this December (needless to say quite luckily matches with the time I have returned) but it is quite elaborate and any drone above 300g is required to have a Unique ID that has to printed as a number plate and affixed to the drone and the manufacturers need to comply to a new system called NPNT - No permission no take off. There’s a platform called Digital Sky that links your drone ( if your manufacturer complies to NPNT) along with your registration and before every flight you request for permissions through the app and depending on what zone you are they get immediately granted (green zone), immediately denied (red zones, you need to have written offline permissions from the government for these ones) or go to the ATC for review and are sanctioned or denied dependent on flight plan within 24 hours (yellow zones with aerial activities). Only when your permission is approved does the manufacturers app allow you to take off (after it reads the green ticket from Digital Sky). Night flying is still illegal. While NPNT will make things really well organised and treat UAVs much like an aircraft, it also seems DJI, Parrot or Yuneec haven’t got a clue about the need to update firmware, etc. likewise for this system and only Indian drone manufacturing companies are building drones compliant to this system.
In short at the moment -unless you’re an Indian and have a DJI Spark, Autel Evo or Parrot Anafi, in legal terms you have to stay grounded until NPNT is now put in place by the manufacturers (only nano category crafts escape the need to abide to NPNT) This may change though once the second revision comes from the DGCA here, due sometime next year.
Haha I know it took me a few.months to get my head around the legislation. It’s an expansive 50 page doc but still it seems a good model because there is a system to record all flight data for the law, even if things go slow I believe they are heading towards a universal system for all UAVs now. Let me know whenever you’d drop by in this country!
I was in Manc for my MA in Documentary, had my grad a week ago and now I’m starting to work - end result: I am back in Mumbai, and quite happy to say, thanks to its weight my Anafi cleared the customs too here. I’ve also got my first licence permitting me to fly here upto 15m from take off position, working on the second one that allrows upto 60m!
I am going to India at the end of Feb for four weeks, I’ll be spending a week in Goa, some time in Vrindavan UP and some time in Delhi. I am intending taking my MP with me, and hoping to fly in Goa and Vrindavan. I obviously have no licence or permit to fly in India at all so what are the chances of getting into trouble. I did look for any issues about taking a drone into India and found nothing against it on India Gov sites.
The beach at Goa faces West so will be great for some fantastic sunsets, so hoping to catch some nice video along the beach and some panos.
Vrindavan is a small town where Krishna spent his childhood, I lived there for 11 years. There are hundreds of temples and ghats along the Yamuna river. There is very little police around and they are more interested extracting money from the tourists, knowing the lay of the land I know how to avoid it, and if there is an issue Rs.500 sorts most things out.
I have no intention of flying in Delhi, its too busy and difficult to fly without attracting a crowd.
If anyone has any tips or suggestions please reply.
@SkyJumper - you can go ahead and do stuff illegally. Yep lots do that in India. But I’d give you the heads up that the official law has become much more stricter now. Have a look here, a big new point is that Non- Indian nationals can’t apparently fly in India legitimately now, along with many other complex additions : https://digitalsky.dgca.gov.in/faq
I do fly commercially here and have to figure mythis permissions with the Police suite often.
The more remote a place though, the easier it might be to fly. Goa is a little mixed on drones now - somewhere people don’t bother much someplaces they do.
Anyways, perhaps your biggest concern and challenge would be the fact that you need to get it past Customs at the airport. Props removed try to conceal it best you can if you really need to get it. There is a chance you may lose the drone at this checkpoint itself.
I know there are topics on this, but not up to date.
So here goes.
Travelling to India in the New Year, specifically Goa.
Trying to get up to date on if you can or can’t take a Drone in to India, is a bit hit and miss.
I have a very personal reason to want to fly/film in Goa.
A very good friend of mine passed away this year, and we have been going to Goa, for around the last 20 years. His daughter has got permission to take his Ashes over and going to scatter them at Sea, in front of the Beach Shack we have spent many an hour putting the World to rights.
Do not want to take my new DJI Mini 3 Pro, in case it gets seized at immigration.
So this is the plan, to buy a cheap Drone, and if it gets seized, it’s not the end of the World!
@Drone_Monkey - yep they’d be taken off you on immigration, especially if you’re landing directly in Goa, they are a bit particular about it there. On the other hand, you can get plenty of people owning one around there and ask to rent out one instead - be mindful though of where you can and can’t fly.
I went to India in October this year for a month, returning on 14th November, and took my DJI Mini 2 with me.
I had no trouble getting into India at Delhi airport, I had it in my carry-on case together with my camera and two more lenses. Leaving India was a completely different story, they made me take everything out of my carry-on case, take the camera and lenses out of their bags, and I took the Mini out of its bag. When they saw the Mini they went crazy, “You are not allowed to bring a Drone into India!!!”, I told them I had no problem bringing it into India. They said you are not allowed to take it on the plane with you, it has to be in checked in baggage. You will have to put it in a bag and get it checked in.
Well, I had already checked in my baggage before immigration and security. They took the drone and the RC and kept it behind a near-by desk. I travelled with my mobility scooter on this trip for the first time and BA provided assistance to get me through Immigration and security to get me to the gate. He saw all the commotion and called BA to get help, after some time a guy came and said you will have to put the drone in a bag and check it in, I had a bag on the back of the seat of the mobility scooter so it could go in that which had a jacket in it. After a while the lady I saw at the check in came with a baggage tag, the security gave me the drone and RC, I wrapped them up in the jacket and gave the bag to the BA rep and put the tag with the other tag I had from check in.
So, in short getting out of India is the problem with a drone, unless you pack it in your check in baggage. I don’t think you will have a problem with the Mini 3 if you pack it safely in your check in bag.
The cheap drone idea sounds good as long as you can fly it as well as the Mini 3, and what quality footage will it take, it seems quite an important event you are going for.
I had previously been to Goa in 2019 and filmed along the beach without any problems, and with no problems on two internal flights and in and out of Delhi.
It was an absolute nightmare, my whole case was unpacked, camera, lenses, drone, laptop, everything. Then they said you can’t take your mobility scooter, it has to be scanned, so I told them to pick it up and put it on the conveyor. They obviously wouldn’t do that, they took it away and put it through a BIG scanner.
With respect to batteries, my mobility scooter has a lithium battery of about 500w, at Heathrow they said it would stay in the scooter and go in the hold of the plane. At Delhi they wanted the battery out of the scooter and put it in the LIPO safe bag I had for it and it would go in the hold with the scooter. There seems to be no consistent rules on what to do with batteries.