Can You Fly A Drone in India? (Answered)


In this blog post, we’ll explore the question, “Is drone flying allowed in India?”.

So, let’s jump in and discover everything you need to know — regulations, penalties (if any) and safety tips to keep in mind!

Can You Fly A Drone in India

Can You Fly a Drone in India?

Yes, you can fly a drone in India. However, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and legal flying experience. Here drone flights are regulated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which has specific rules and restrictions in place to protect public safety and privacy. By adhering to these regulations and respecting the local authorities’ guidelines, drone enthusiasts can enjoy capturing stunning aerial footage while exploring India’s beautiful landscapes.

Overview of Drone Regulations

Let’s take a look at some of the key points for drone regulations:

Maximum Altitude Limits

  • All drones, regardless of type and purpose of use, are required to maintain a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level during operation.
  • The drone must not operate above the “Obstacle Limitation Surfaces” of an operational aerodrome, excluding take-off and landing paths, unless permitted by the appropriate authority.

Distance Restrictions

  • Drones must not be flown within a 5 km radius of an operational airport unless explicit permission has been granted.
  • All drones, excluding those in the Nano category, must maintain a minimum distance of 50 meters from any person, vehicle, or structure not associated with the drone operation.

Prohibited Activities and Actions

  • Drone operators are strictly prohibited from consuming drugs or alcohol up to twelve hours prior to any drone operation.
  • Drones are not allowed to be flown in areas near airports, international borders, Vijay Chowk in Delhi, State Secretariat Complex in State Capitals, strategic locations, and military installations without prior approval.
  • All drone operations must adhere to the “No Permission – No Takeoff” (NPNT) policy. Under this, every flight needs to be approved by the Digital Sky Platform before it can take off.
  • Operators are required to ensure the drone is in good condition before flying, checking aspects such as the propellers, battery, and GPS. They also need to maintain a direct visual line of sight with the drone at all times during flight.

Privacy and Data Protection Considerations

  • Operators must respect privacy norms of individuals and are prohibited from filming or taking photos at locations where there is an expectation of privacy without explicit permission. This includes private properties, government buildings or strategic locations.
  • All drone users must ensure that any data or information collected during a flight (including photos or videos) is stored securely to prevent unauthorized access, disclosure or alteration. Users must comply with the provisions related to data protection under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Commercial Operations

  • All drones, except those in the Nano category, must be registered and issued an Unique Identification Number (UIN) by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It is mandatory for commercial operators to have a UIN for their drones.
  • A permit, known as the Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP), is required for commercial drone operations. However, exceptions are made for drones in the Nano category flying up to 50 feet and Micro drones flying up to 200 feet in uncontrolled airspace and enclosed premises.

Penalties for Violating Drone Regulations

If you’re caught violating drone regulations in India, you might face serious penalties. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) imposes fines based on the severity of the violation. For instance, flying a drone without a valid permit or license could attract a fine of INR 10,000. Additionally, if your drone is found to be non-compliant with the prescribed regulations, it could lead to a fine of INR 25,000.

Moreover, if you infringe upon the privacy of individuals, engage in anti-social activities, or pose a threat to national security, you could be liable for legal action and imprisonment. The authorities also reserve the right to confiscate your drone if it’s used in illegal activities. It’s crucial to remember that these penalties are not fixed and could vary based upon the severity and nature of the violation.

Tips for Safe and Responsible Drone Flying in India

To ensure a positive drone flying experience and comply with the regulations, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Operator Certification: Ensure you have the mandatory Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) issued by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
  2. Regulated Airspace: Always fly within the Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) and below 400 feet to avoid interference with other aircraft.
  3. Respect Privacy: Do not fly over private property, government facilities or other restricted areas to respect privacy and avoid legal issues.
  4. Maintain Insurance: Acquire drone insurance to cover any potential damage or injuries caused by your drone operations.
  5. No-Drone Zones: Avoid flying in no-drone zones, like near airports or over densely populated areas, as outlined in the DGCA guidelines.


Can I Fly My Drone at Night in India?

Yes, you can fly your drone at night in India, provided you follow the guidelines set by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Ensure your drone is equipped with anti-collision lights and follow all other requisite rules for safe operation.

Can You Bring a Drone to India?

Yes, you can bring a drone to India. However, you must adhere to the local regulations pertaining to drone usage. This includes acquiring necessary permissions for flying drones, particularly in certain restricted areas. Always respect privacy and safety guidelines.

Do I Need a License or Permit to Fly a Drone in India?

Yes, you need a license or permit to fly a drone in India. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation requires Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit and a Unique Identification Number for drones, apart from nano category ones flown below 50 feet.


Before you launch your drone into the India skies, it’s crucial to understand the area’s drone laws and regulations.

This applies not only to India but also to other destinations around the world. For example, if you’re heading to Snoqualmie Falls, it’s important to know the specific rules and guidelines for drone flying there. Similarly, if you have dreams of capturing breathtaking footage of Sequoia National Park or exploring drone opportunities around Spain, it’s essential to be aware of the local drone regulations in those locations as well.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

So, whether you’re planning a leisurely flight or engaging in commercial drone operations, make sure to fly responsibly, and stay informed.

Resources and Further Information:

Photo of author
Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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