The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation, after working for several years on building a sustainable drone ecosystem in India, has finally released\u00a0Drone Regulations 1.0 for the country.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIn an official tweet, the ministry has released the standard regulations for operating drones in the country. It first issued a draft stating the rules and guidelines relating to the use of drones in November 2017.\r\n\r\n\u201cThese regulations will enable the safe, commercial usage of drones starting December 1, 2018. Drone Regulations 1.0 are intended to enable visual line-of-sight, daytime-only, and a maximum of 400 ft altitude operations,\u201d said Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Civil Aviation.\r\n\r\nFurther, instead of simply digitising a paper-based process for registering and operating drones, India has formulated an all-digital process.\r\n\r\nThe Digital Sky Platform is the first-of-its-kind national unmanned traffic management (UTM) platform that implements \u201cno permission, no takeoff\u201d (NPNT) in India. Users will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones, pilots, and owners.\r\n\r\nThe aviation ministry has segregated airspace into three zones: the\u00a0Red Zone (flying not permitted), the Yellow Zone (controlled airspace), and the Green Zone (automatic permission).\r\n\r\nHere are some key guidelines for commercial operations of drones in India:\r\n\r\n \tDrones have been categorised into five categories based on weight \u2014 less than 250 gm to more than 150 kg \u2014 and their use\r\n \tBarring the nano category of drones, which is the smallest, other categories of drones \u2014 micro, small, medium and large \u2014 need to be registered\r\n \tNano drones used by children for recreation don\u2019t need to be registered\r\n \tUsers of small, medium, and large drones will have to register as pilots\r\n \tThe age eligibility for piloting a drone is 18 years\r\n \tThe drone operator must be a Class X passout with knowledge of English\r\n\r\n\r\nAll types of applications are possible. We have set up many testing sites that you can use to test drones with payloads. Licenses for drones with payloads and\/or operating beyond line-of-sight will be considered on a case-by-case basis. https:\/\/t.co\/QdfpshSMPF\r\n\u2014 Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) August 28, 2018\r\nGoing forward, the Drone Task Force, under the chairmanship of the minister of state Jayant \u00a0Sinha, will provide draft recommendations for Drone Regulations 2.0. These regulations will examine, inter alia, the following issues:\r\n\r\n \tCertification of safe and controlled operation of drone hardware and software\r\n \tAirspace management through automated operations linked into overall airspace management framework\r\n \tBeyond visual-line-of-sight operations\r\n \tContribution to establishing global standards\r\n \tSuggestions for modifications of existing CARs and\/or new CARs\r\n\r\nWhile the drone regulations have certainly added clarity to the operational requirements of drones in the country, they have also raised a few concerns.\r\n\r\nFor instance, ecommerce companies such as Amazon, who're looking to start using drones for deliveries, may need to delay their plans for a while. Amazon is currently testing delivery of packages up to five pounds (2.25 kg) in 30 minutes or less using small drones.\r\n\r\nIt was in October 2017 when Amazon filed a patent application in India for\u00a0exclusive rights on multi-scale fiducials. Fiducials are black and white marks on any object for self-operating aerial vehicles to identify them from different distances. The proposed drones can also be used to identify other such objects, along with aircraft, operating in the Indian skies.\r\n\r\nHowever, the filing of a\u00a0patent application does not imply that Amazon will get an approval for deploying drones for commercial use in India.\r\n\r\nDrones can be deployed for commercial purposes but only within the line of sight of a remote pilot, which is quite a stringent condition.\r\n\r\nThe national drone policy requires commercial drones to have controls that prevent them from taking off without the operator's permission. It's a sensible requirement, but the fact that it is needed is terrifying.\r\n\u2014 Ritesh Banglani (@banglani) August 28, 2018\r\nAlso, the requirement to obtain remote pilot licences by drone operators may become tough and further delay the process of starting drone deliveries for companies.\r\n\r\nIn any case, the drone regulations will provide a direction to\u00a0state governments and industries to start acting on their drone plans. For instance the Rajasthan government, which\u00a0is installing an advanced surveillance mechanism including drones and thermal cameras to curb the menace of poaching and other anti-wildlife activities.\r\n\r\nAlso, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee is now developing drones for the Indian Railways\u00a0that can monitor rail tracks. As it was reported in January 2018, the West Central Railways has already run some drone cameras on a pilot basis and has now decided to deploy them across all divisions.