Remotely Piloted Aircraft is also known as a Drone is rapidly expanding its use all around the world for this we have different International legislation, and understanding international Drone legislation is critical like we have to study in deep to interpret the different rules and regulation.

There are different uses of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) around the world. UAVs have been operated for numerous practices such as for military use, scientific use, investigation use, photography, agriculture, used by the policemen, and many more. Their presence in the area where commonly people run their daily lives has necessitated the need to regulate their practice. Meanwhile many states across the world have issued the different legislation, which may vary on vehicle classification according to weight, size, the purpose of use, etc.

Due to the high increment in Drone applications, countries are working for the incorporation of drones into their Aviation Regulatory Framework.

Introduction

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human operator on board that can be operated and be guided from a distance using either fixed (airplane) or rotating (helicopter) wings.[1] Drone comprises of a vehicle remote, and a fixed camera for recording the data. It looks like a helicopter having rotating wings, it also has different sensors like GPA, thermographic, thermometer, altimeter, chemical, etc along with some sensors for communication and recording like hard-discs, P.C, and tablets. All these ingredients make UAVs or we can say a Drone. Recently drones have become an important requirement tool, they are employed for many purposes like industrial use, investigation, picture-taking, and many other purposes. Drones are also being used by police, like in many countries drones are used for controlling crowd crime, tracking, search and rescue operations, etc. It not only saves time but also helps in appropriating the energy of policemen or Police force.
A drone can also be used as a marketing purpose, for example, delivering different items across the township of any Nation. Drone delivery is more environmentally friendly compared to wheels and many companies are preparing to take the advantages of this technology.
If we talk about more Drone employment, we can include applications like environmental law enforcement, environmental protection for example in recent, Africa has used a drone in a very useful practice they have employed Drones to stop illegal poaching which endangers the extension of Mammalian creatures. Drones are very useful in preventing illegal loading, deforestation, and forest flames.

To maintain the unlawful activities, many countries like Germany, Norway, France, nations with an incredible population like India, they have issued legislation on their use, ensuring security, and secrecy of its people.

Drone Law in India

According to Indian Civil Aviation authority [2]flying a Drone is legal in India Based on my research

and interpretation of the laws, there are some important rules and laws which shall be followed

before flying a Drone in India

  1. Unique Identification Number (UIN): all the drones must be registered under the authorities and shall have UINs as per the guidelines, besides nano categories shall have the privilege from this rule.
  2.  Flying limit: Nano category Drone can fly up to 50 feet whereas, other categories which include the micro category can go up to 200 feet. Meanwhile, a permit is required for commercial drone operations. The drone cannot fly above 400 feet vertically.
  3.  Maintenance of direct visual line: a Drone controller shall maintain a direct visual line of sight at all times.
  4. Where not to fly: There call "no-fly zone" which covers areas like airports, International borders, State Secretariat Complex in the state capital, strategic locations, military installations, Vijay Chowk place in Delhi, are included in 'the no-fly zone', no drone is allowed to be flying.

Drone Categories in India

Registration is required for all but not for Nano category.

  • Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams.
  • Micro: From 250 grams to 2kg.
  • Small: From 2kg to 25kg.
  • Medium: From 25kg to 150kg.
  • Large: Greater than 150kg

These days, drone use got some exception due to COVID-19 work: Government has provided conditional exceptions for operating drones, these exceptions will be allowed for using drones for general photography, public announcement, and surveillance. While flying any Drone in India pilot needs to take permission to fly Drone via a mobile application which will automatically process the request and will inform the pilot whether their request has been accepted or not if the pilot tries to fly without the permission, 'which is also known as no-permission no-takeoff' he or she will simply not be able to take off without the permission. The permission is granted by the Digital Sky platform in India.

 

Drone Laws in France

According to France Civil Aviation authority [3]flying a Drone is legal in France, but as like India, France also have different rules and regulation which shall be fulfilled before flying a drone.

  1. Registration: All the drones of above or equal to 800 grams must be registered in AlphaTango. AlphaTango is the public portal for users of the drone. After registration pilot shall have one registration number which shall be written on the drone and shall be visible with naked eyes from the 30 cm distance. Pilots shall have all the certificates regarding their registration while flying a drone in France.  Drones are not allowed to be flown at night unless special authorization.
  2.  Places where a drone cannot fly: Drones are limited to be flown over airports, over private property unless special permission, nuclear power plants, historical monuments, prisons, or any other National Park. Drones are also not flown over an ongoing fire and any other emergency services.
  3.  Height: The drone may go up to 150 meters or higher than 50 meters above any objects or building which is 100 meters or more.
  4. Drone pilots must maintain a direct line of sight with their drones at all times

General rules for flying a Drone, commercially in France

Drone pilot must pass the theoretical exam conducted in France for the registration number, this test can be taken online and upon passing the exam the Pilot would be given a theoretical telepilote certificate and this certificate shall be with the pilot while flying a drone.

 The pilot must also have to do some basic practical training, the pilot must define what type of drone they use and for what purpose. After their training, they will be issued one more certificate by telepilots training. Pilots cannot provide their own practical training in France.

 

Drone Laws in Germany

According to Germany Civil Aviation authority [4]flying a Drone is legal in Germany, but as like India, and France, Germany also have different rules and regulation which shall be fulfilled before flying a drone.

  1. Height: The drone may go up to 100 meters without the permit, or higher than 50 meters above any objects or building which is 100 meters or more.
  2. Drone pilots must maintain a direct line of sight with their drones at all times. but there is one privilege there, that in case of FPV flights in which the drone cannot fly 30 meters above the grounds with the weight, not more than 250 grams.
  3. The drone of 5kg cannot be flown at night without permission. whereas less weight of 2kg can be flown without permission, 
  4. There shall be the insurance of the drones.
  5. Drones having the weight of or more than 250 grams must have a fireproof badge which shall contain the name and address of the pilot.
  6. Drones are not allowed to be flown above 100 meters from federal highways, waterways, and railways facilities.
  7. Drones are restricted in the area reserved by the Federal Nature Conservation Act.
  8. Drones are not allowed in the private property unless the special permission,

Drones are being used in Germany in day to day activities. Thus these rules restrict any act which is just not admitted by society.

Drones Laws in Norway

According to Norway Civil Aviation [5]authority flying a Drone is legal in Norway, but Norway also has different rules and regulation which shall be fulfilled before flying a drone.

  1. Drone pilots must maintain a visual line of sight with their drone throughout operations.
  2. Drones are not allowed near accident sites.
  3. Drones are restricted to not fly within the radius of 5km of an airport without permission.
  4. Drones may not fly above 120 meters above the ground.
  5. Drones are not given permission to fly during any festival, military facilities, or any sports events.
  6. Drones are not allowed to capture any photo or video of any other person without permission.
  7. Drones need to be registered under the CAA. And commercial operation falls into 3 categories: RO1, RO2, AND RO3.

Conclusions

The use of drones in recent years has been increased, and, to the best of its use, different countries have different legislations therewith. Meanwhile, drones can both have a positive and negative side, positive as they are very helpful for the basic needs and negative can be like it shall not infringe the rights of the people and the laws framed by the authority. A legal framework will provide smooth and safe drone operations.


[1] Clarke, R. Understanding the drone epidemic. Comput. Law Secur. Rev. 2014, 30, 230–246

[2] The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the statutory body formed under the Aircraft Bill, 2020. This directorate investigates aviation accidents and incidents. It is headquartered along Sri Aurobindo Marg, opposite Safdarjung Airport, in New Delhi.

[3] The DGAC, the French Civil Aviation Authority, is responsible for ensuring the safety and the security of French air transport.

[4] The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA, "Federal Aviation Office") is the national civil aviation authority of Germany headquartered in Braunschweig.

[5] Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority is the Norwegian inspectorate responsible for civil aviation in Norway. It is subordinate to the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications. Its head office is located in Bodø and it has an office in Oslo.