How to become a Certified Drone Pilot in India?

Just like the satellites form a mesh around our earth today soon the sky will be filled with buzzing drones but unlike any remote controlled toy planes the drones are attracting many laws and regulations from the governments except the nano drones flown below 50 ft. Since you are reading this as you see yourself as a catalyst in the drone ecosphere, here’s a road map to guide you to become a certified drone pilot by India’s aviation ministry.

Documents required prior to licence approval
  • Age proof displaying between 18 -65 years of age
  • 10th graduation in English medium (for further syllabus is tutored in the same language)
  • Medical fitness approval

Pilot certification from any DGCA authorised Flying Training Organisation (FTO) where you will be trained in flying RPAS. Some institutes are listed below:

  1. Alchemist Aviation Pvt. Ltd.
  • Jamshedpur – 831011
  • Jharkhand

         2. Ambitions Flying Club Pvt. Ltd.

  • Aligarh – 202001
  • Uttar Pradesh

          3. Flytech Aviation Academy

  • Secunderabad
  • Telangana

         4. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Akademy

  • Fursatganj – 229302
  • Uttar Pradesh

        5. Pioneer Flying Academy Pvt. Ltd.

  • Aligarh – 202001
  • Uttar Pradesh

       6. The Bombay Flying Club

  • Mumbai 
  • Maharashtra

Costing upward of INR 65k to 80k the training session usually lasts for as ephemeral a week to as long as a month maximum (varies from academy to academy) with first week involving theories on navigation, meteorology, fight planning and Air Traffic Control (ATC) procedures, basics on principles of flight and aerodynamics for fixed wing, rotary wing and hybrid aircraft, airspace structure and restriction plus No Drone Zones and radio-telephony (RT) with other area of operation specific regulations. Then comes physical training followed by simulated flight training to demonstrate control of RPA and amass flying hour logs. 

  • After the ground training you are registered as a remote pilot and earn a Pilot Identification Number that makes you visible to the RPAS operators.
Registration on DGCA website:

After fulfilling the above regulations proceed to digital sky platform (dgca.gov.in) for final certification.

Step 1.  Click on ‘I am a trained remote pilot’ and sign up (if that is applicable to you or ‘know more’ about the aforementioned elements.

Step 2.  Fill in your basic info after selecting your nationality.

Step 3.  You will get an OTP only if the registration process is open. Create an account and get your Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) of 5 year validity.

 You are all set to take off! 

How rewarding is it to become a certified drone pilot?

Being a ground pilot of course you don’t have the burden of insulating ‘passengers’ ’ lives nonetheless, the certification is mandated by the Government to make you aviation minded. You are naturally expected to conduct safety tests and ensure safe operations of the same and its equipment’s before the actual flight; for little do you want your exorbitant RPAS vitiated on grounds of sloppiness. You gain an additional advantage of showing off your legitimacy and appearing in the national database where you can be reached to by any proprietor or any company for a job or you can solely enjoy the freedom of flying anywhere except No Fly Zones. 

Illegal Drone Flying Penalties in India 
Action Fine
Flying without permit INR 25,000
Flying over no-operation zone INR 50,000
Flying without valid third insurance INR 10,000

While the various category drones tackle their respective height restrictions and while pilots have to wait for their certification to get their drones airborne let me tell you a secret – no regulated definitions has been labelled upon the depths to be explored by Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) nor are there any confined ‘no sailing zones’ except near national/international flora and fauna. Before the scheming eyes of law deploys on underwater drones get your hands on one, we’ll pray you may find the next layer of submerged Dwarka or if luck prevails you may even find the lost city of Atlantis. 


PS:  The Drone laws are newly formed and keep wavering spasmodically hence keep tabs on the government regulations from official sites.

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