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How are the Drones Regulated?


Invented by The United States of America(1916), the drone or the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) intended to help the military and the guards to keep themselves safe from their enemies during the first world war. Initially drones were unreliable and expensive, therefore, were put into use only by the government and the military troops while there were no questions concerning to its domestication. Shortly between respective decades, these drones were bought by only by reliable authorities and projects, until 2014 when amazon proposed to deliver packages to individual customers for purposes like real estate and promotional advertisements. Right when the market for drones was booming and its usages were eased, India made it illegal for any civilian to use a drone. But this did not last long until 2018 when the ban was lifted and the regulations came into effect on December 1, 2018. Although this has been a move to ease the usage and expose it to civilians it has also created chaos by invading into people’s private spaces and their security.[1]


Would an individual be okay if a drone flew past us while we are sun bathing in a mini pool in the backyard or practising dance steps with a friend on the terrace or while we do our daily yoga in the balcony? The answer for sure is negative.Every individual has a private life and  a personal space and would not appreciate any kind of invasion in the same.The need for privacy in a person’s life is vital because it helps an individual to differentiate his/her social and private boundaries and behave accordingly, maintain a reputation and it also projects one’s respect, control of their life and freedom.[2]Even though these drones invade people’s privacy and has major disadvantages, it has become omnipresent in the current dynamic. The regulation of drones has always been a debatable topic although there are laws imposed on it. To begin with, the eased regulation of drones has been a threat to right to privacy of an individual since he very scratch. With the existing law, any drone can fly into an individual’s property and cause a nuisance or invade the person’s privacy by sneaking into their private spaces capturing photographs or video. This variably breaches a person’s right to privacy under article 21 of the constitution. On another note it is also used as a medium to transfer illegal belongings to the places where human invasions re far beyond belief.The operation of drones can pick up a political conflicts well, when it enters a restricted premise of the military or boundaries belonging to other states while they are conducting experiments and tests. The aftertaste caused by the drones are not limited here, they tend to harm birds and other animals on its way to navigate uncertain areas while it is navigated to uncertain areas, it also serves as a device which is extremely vulnerable to hackers as their data is not secured. In the past time, several injuries, fatalities have been caused by the use of technology with knowledge.

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Although the ill effects are higher hand the good ones, yet there are a few positive impacts of them as well like- drones help in farming by monitoring the growth of the crop on a regular basis and sending the data to the owner involved even if he lived miles away; they are inexpensive when compared to the helicopters and thus are an economical option for everyone; can be used as logistics and can live stream events as well from any corner of the world. Therefore, with the advancing technology and growing modernisation, regulations related to such tools must be modified too. Consecutively, even though drones have a reasonable number of drawbacks, they have advantages as well making their existence worthwhile.

Thereupon, drones must neither be completely banned from operation nor should they be left free to regulate. There must be modifications made in the regulations to ensure healthy usage of drones without harming the surroundings and mankind’s privacy.[3]


Technology evolves much faster than law. And laws are pretty different in every country, especially amidst a growing technological circumstance. From 200 countries, about 45 had imposed drone laws update over a year ago. That is so many countries indicate a general trend of adoption throughout the world. In the US, the released rules by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for drones below 55lb has paved way for multiple opportunities in commercial sectors such as mapping, surveying, inspection, and others. The FAA in the US has set up a basic and clear regulatory framework for drone users who use it for both commercial as well as domestic needs. Drones which fall under nano tools are relaxed and are free to operate at any point by any individual. While on the other hand, The United Kingdom is making moderation in its laws to get more benefits from the usage of drones just like the US. But currently, the European Union (EU) does not allow a civilian to use a drone. The number of countries which have a stringent ban on civilian use of drones is less and down to 8 naming few countries like Uzbekistan, Syria, Senegal, Nicaragua, Morocco, Madagascar, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Cuba, Barbados and a few more. And the main reason being, they either want to bring a clear legislation regarding the drones so until then they have imposed a ban or they are sceptical about the ability of the country to control information and its population’s ability to obtain it. [4]

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Until 2014 there were no clear legislation made in India concerning the drones. But abruptly in 2014, India banned the operation of drones as a pizza delivery man chose to airdrop pizzas in his vicinity. It took 4 years for the government to realise that the ban on commercial drones had caused a certain amount of economic downfall and there was an emergence of illegal market to combat it. Therefore, after the ban was lifted the Civil Aviation regulations (CAR) was brought in India to regulate the usage of drones and the related activities. They framed an extensive legal guideline for everyone who wanted to fly a drone. Some of these include the manufacturer to include various safety and compliance features like GPS, anti-collision light, return to home, flight controller with data logging, GSM SIM and NPNT complaint in app-based drones, Bio-metric equipment etc. Licensing was made mandatory if one had to import drones overseas DGCA and security clearance by the Home ministry and then one had to get Equipment Type Approval (ETA) by the Ministry of Telecommunication and its wireless wing. The authorities concerned had fixed capacities for different existing drones and the UIN attached to it for easier regulation. Although the legislation does not touch upon all the issues regarding the drones, they have a framework that makes people accountable for their activities to a certain extent. [5]

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Several laws are bought into action in India related to the regulation of drones and this denotes the positive track that it is headed to. Yet, there are wide gaps which need to be bridged regarding the nano tools of drones which are governed or the selective licensing or a surveillance check for every recorded and transmitted date which may risk the harmony of the people and turn out as a threat or to protect the  privacy rights of an individual by getting to fly it only in a limited vicinity and not in another person’s property . We are not far behind but the present rules and regulation compliances are too cumbersome for business. Although we are developing but at a very slow paced. We need minimum government and maximum governance principle in real life and not merely on paper. A dedicated committee and sincere efforts are required to examine this field and bring in effect an effective implementation of law. The government must take required actions to bridge the gap between the technological boom of drones in the commercial market along with ensuring a healthy usage.

[1] Meenal Dhande, The current scenario of global drone regulations and laws, Geospatial World (11/19/2016),

[2] Professor Daniel J, PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG, Teach Privacy,

[3] Advantages and Disadvantages of Drone Technology, Grind Drone (August 30, 2017)

[4]ZACC DUKOWITZ, No Flying Allowed: The 15 Countries Where Drones Are Banned (25.02.2020),

[5]Sonam Chandwani, Regulation of Drones in India, Lexology (12.06.2020)

Cite this article (The Bluebook 20th ed.)-

Shrinithi S. R., How are the Drones Regulated?, Ex Gratia Law Journal, (August 25, 2020),

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Shrinithi S. R.
Student - SASTRA Deemed to be University