Drone regulations in India

In this article, we have summarized for you the current legal situation for the use of drones in India.

In India, drones were completely banned for a long time.

Meanwhile, a law was passed, which is valid from 01.12.2018 and repeals the general ban. There have been updated rules in 2021. For drone pilots, very complex rules apply. However, tourists do not benefit from the relaxation of the rules, because foreigners are still not allowed to fly drones in India. For commercial purposes, a drone can be leased to an Indian company, which can then get an identification number.

The import of drones is only allowed with prior permission from the Ministry of Communications (Wireless Planning and Coordination Department). If a drone is detected without authorization at the airport, it will be confiscated and not returned. I have read reports from the airports in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Bangalore in particular. But at other airports, you should expect a seizure.

Rules for the use of drones in India for locals

Drones are divided into three weight classes, according to which certain conditions apply:

  • Nano-Drones: up to 250 grams
  • Micro-Drones: more than 250 grams and up to max. 2 kilograms
  • Small-Drones: more than 2 kilograms and max. 25 kilograms
  • Medium-Drones: More than 25 kilograms and max. 150 kilograms
  • Large-Drones: More than 150 kilograms

Most privately used copters – such as the DJI Mavic Pro – fall into the category of micro-drones.

Overview: Drone rules in India

Recreational use of drones allowed? No
Commercial use of drones permitted? No
Is drone insurance mandatory? No. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?No.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? No.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people

We have researched the listed drone regulations for India to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the Indian aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in India!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use several drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ or the DJI Mini 3 Pro. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a drone. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • ASHISH ANAND | 18.06.2017

    What did you do with your drone when you entered India?
    Did the airport authority allowed you to take it with you or they charged you or they took your drone?
    Please explain me.

    • Francis Markert | 16.01.2018

      Hello Ashish,
      When we went to India, the rules were not so strict or rather the officials had no clue which laws apply. That’s the reason why we could fly our Phantom 2 drone without any problems. However, we were cautious. Best regards, Francis

  • Sir Maxwell Greene | 12.09.2018

    Found this. Thought it may be useful to some.

  • Andrei G | 08.12.2018

    Helpful Links: Legal Text, Indian Express, Times of India are very useful

    in short it is very bad and very sad

    I love India and have been many times – for a total of over 425 days! yes about 1.3 years!!!

    BUT India loses at the bottom line – since normal people will not be able to post amazing images / videos from it’s glamorous lands …

    my research:

    India drone policy [EFFECTIVE: 01st DECEMBER, 2018] “Here is everything you need to know” from The Indian EXPRESS

    With the Directorate General of Central Aviation announcing India’s policy on the use of drones, here’s a closer look at the finer details.

    ARTICLE: https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/india-drone-policy-dgca-remotely-piloted-aircraft-5328143/

    I find a official drone document on Directorate General of Civil Aviation – using this https://www.google.com/search?q=site:dgca.nic.in+drone:

    in short import of drones is a very complex process – but I am not sure if this “import” is like importing a car vs bringing in a car temporarily for a visit

    >The import of drones is also only permitted with prior permission from the Ministry of Communications (Wireless Planning and Coordination Department). If a drone is detected without authorization at the airport, it will be confiscated and not returned. I have read reports from the airports in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Bangalore in particular. But also at other airports, you should expect a seizure. https://drone-traveller.com/drone-laws-india/



    5.1 For RPA imported to India:
    a) Any entity intending to import RPAS in India shall obtain Equipment Type
    Approval (ETA) from WPC Wing, Department of Telecommunication for
    operating in de-licensed frequency band(s). Such approval shall be valid for a
    particular make and model.


    we head to WPC site and find ETA – Equipment Type Approval http://www.wpc.dot.gov.in/Static/EquipmentTypeApproval.html

    it is a specific form stating:

    4. The application should be submitted alond with a complete copy of Radio Test report (RF test report) carried out on the product, from an accredited test laboratory…

    6. the Equipment Type Approval shall be granted only to an Indian agency and not in the name of any foreign manufacturer. Hence it also essential to submit a certificate of authorization from the manufacturer, authorizing the Indian agency/countrer part to act on their behalf.

    AND ONCE THAT ETA is otained an import clearance is needed … and that is given once a “Copy of security clearance: ” is given http://dgca.nic.in/cars/D3X-X1.pdf and that is for Indian citizens only in any case …

    b) The applicant, other than Nano category, shall apply to DGCA for import
    clearance as per format given in Annexure-IA. Based upon the import clearance
    issued by DGCA, DGFT shall issue license for import of RPAS.

    The applicant, other than Nano category, shall apply to DGCA (= Directorate General of Civil Aviation) along with ETA (= Equipment Type Approval) for
    import clearance. Based upon the import clearance issued by DGCA (=Directorate General of Civil Aviation), DGFT (= Directorate General of Foreign Trade) shall issue
    license for import of RPAS (= Remotely Piloted Aircraft System)

    MEANS: so a import clearance is needed from DGCA and once that is granted DGFT shall issue a license for import

    c) Upon receipt of import license, the applicant shall apply to DGCA for UIN/UOAP, as applicable.

    GFCA = Directorate General of Civil Aviation
    ETA = Equipment Type Approval (ETA)
    DGCA = Directorate General of Civil Aviation
    DGFT = Directorate General of Foreign Trade
    RPAS = Remotely Piloted Aircraft System(s)


    even if the above is obtained
    operation of a drone must be only by an Indian citizen (along with insurance – and notification of local police – and license/certification is not required!)

    basically this is unlike any other country that I have seen :/

    one day this might change to some other standard – but due to an ongoing conflict with Pakistan – getting a SIM card in India for a tourist takes 72 hours – an approval from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) equivalent of FCC Federal Communications Commission in USA … they actually call a local person who must claim that they know you … etc …
    BUT now there is hope: “SIM on e-visa : India to provide free SIM cards to travelers with e-visa” because of this problem …
    so there is hope …

    I will write to them to create a application form for tourists wanting to film with their drones … but then again the rule that only an Indian citizen can operate a drone … is hard to beat …

    if anyone has any info please share …

  • Paul | 06.05.2019

    I took my Phantom 3 to Kerala in December 2015, but only made a couple of flights in remote locations. On the way home we had a dog leg flight through Mumbai & the police/airport security wanted to seize it, but eventually let me keep it.

  • Savian | 08.09.2020

    Can I buy mini racing drone from AliExpress

  • Mhdmzml | 02.06.2021

    I have a Dji Mavic mini and I did registration and got my OAN (OWNER’S ACKNOWLEDGE NUMBER) as well as DAN (DRONE’S ACKNOWLEDGE NUMBER) but when you ask DGCA about flying rules, they don’t give a satisfying reply.

  • Deepak | 29.08.2021

    I have a dji mavic pro platinum and i live outside india(im indian citizen).

    I used to Carry my drone with me earlier while coming to india(until 2019).

    Is ot still allowed that i can bring my drone to india or the new rules won’t allow that?

  • irshad | 05.09.2021

    hi Mhdmzml, How i can register my DJI mavic ?

  • Vishal | 08.09.2021

    Can I bring a nano drone (less than 250 gms) into india from UK/US?

  • Ashin Antony | 04.10.2021

    Can anyone tell me a solution if your drone is sezied by customs (mavic mini 2) is there any possibility to take back

  • Indtraveler | 01.11.2021

    Thanks for the information.
    Can I bring DJI Mavic mini (Micro) to India. I am an Indian nationals and bringing the drone for short vacation in India. Do I need to still register drone even it comes under 250 gm

    • Drone Traveller Team | 05.11.2021

      The rules have relaxed a little bit but as far as we know, all drones have to be registered.

  • Paul | 15.11.2021

    Hi, I am planning to visit India in January (e-tourist visa) and would like to bring my dji mini 2. How do I have to register it?

    • Drone Traveller Team | 19.11.2021

      Hi Paul,
      There is the Digital Sky platform for registration, however, it used to be only for citizens. We don’t know if this has changed, so if in doubt, we recommend asking the Aviation Authority.

  • Pradeep | 25.04.2022

    Hi I m bring dji mini 2 drone from Kuwait to India this is belongs to nano drone catagory. But in Hyderabad customs department was stopped my drone. any one can help me how to get it back or what is the procedure to get that……

    • Francis Markert | 03.05.2022

      Hi Pradeep,
      did you ask how you can get your drone back?

  • Harsh | 07.05.2022

    Hi Pradeep!

    Was your drone with its original packaging?
    Did you declare it to the customs department?

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