The Aviation Division Government of Pakistan has finalised the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Policy 2020. In simple words, we can say this policy his about drones as they are commonly known. The policy is the hard work of the aviation division who worked on this for two years and then brought all the stakeholders on one table to formalise this process. The policy is meant to regulate the safe and secure usage of drones and other remotely piloted aircraft systems. The policy covers the civil application of UAS however, UAS used by Government entities shall be registered with Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and shall coordinate with PCAA during use.
The policy will be covering the following areas to ensure policy compliance.
- Security clearance
The policy divides UAS systems according to its maximum take off mass (MTOM) or maximum take off weight (MTOW). So there are 5 classes or categories according to this classification. This policy only covers the four classes/categories since the class 5 deals with passenger taxi drones that can carry and take off with 150KG or more. At this point PCAA thinks there is no urgent need to device policy about that.
|CRITERIA: MAXIMUM TAKE-OFF MASS|
|Class-I||Less than 250 g (grams)|
|Class-II||Between 250 g and 2 kg|
|Class-III||Between 2 kg and 50 kg|
|Class-IV||Between 50 kg and 150 Kg|
|Class-V||More than 150 kg|
|Class-VI||Passenger UAS (is not covered in this policy)|
According to the policy document it will be applicable on individuals, companies, private organisation, government entries, foreigners and international organisations.
In the important part about regulatory parameters minimum age to operate a drone or UAS is 14. And for that age registration is not required but at that age the flight restriction is 200 feet above ground level. And 500 meters could be covered in horizontal distance. No NOC or security clearance will be required for this level.
Above the age of 16 or at 16 the operator will require registration with PCAA and the maximum above ground level one can cover at the age of 18 and above is 400 feet. If the operator is 16 years of age he or she can fly the drone unto 1 kilometre but above 18 years approval must be sought from PCAA as well as local authorities.
At the 16 year old age one must seek security clearance from Special Branch and above that age the security clearlejcne must be sought from Ministry of Interior.
|Operator Min. age||14 yr.||16 yr.||18 yr.||18 yr.||18 yr.|
|Vertical distance||200 ft AGL||200 ft AGL||400 ft AGL||400 ft AGL||400 ft AGL|
|Horizontal distance||500 m||1 km||Subject to flight approval from PCAA in||Subject to flight approval from PCAA in||Subject to flight approval from PCAA in|
|Security Clearance (Operator)||X||Sp. Branch||MoI||MoI||MoI|
|Import NOC (non-RPOL holder)||X||PCAA||MoI||MoI||MoI|
|Spatial Regulation||only in controlled airspace||As regulated by authorities||By PCAA & MOI||And Local|
Regulations for class 1 and class 2 drones.
Class-I and Class-II UAS are subject to specific restrictions as mentioned below:
- UAS cannot fly more than 200 feet above the ground and below the height of the highest obstacle within 300 meters of the UAS, in which the remote pilot maintains direct unaided visual contact with the UAS to manage its flight and meet separation and collision avoidance responsibilities.
- UAS may only be operated over property owned by the operator or other property with the permission of the owner.
- A UAS may not tow another aircraft, perform aerial or aerobatic displays, or be flown in formation or swarm.
- It may not be flown within a 10 Nautical-Miles (NM) (about 18.5 km) radius of an airfield, within restricted or prohibited airspace, within 2 km of national borders, or above or near a sensitive area, including a nuclear power plant, correctional institution, police station, or court.
- A UAS may not be operated directly overhead of any person or within a lateral distance of 50 meters (164 feet) from any person.
- All operations must be conducted only in a restricted visual line of sight (R-VLOS). So that direct, unaided, visual contact be maintained that is sufficient to monitor the flight path of a small unmanned aircraft ―in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels, and structures for the purposes of avoiding collisions.
- It may not be used for the purpose of releasing, dispensing, dropping, delivering, or deploying an object or substance.
- All private operators shall abide by the guidelines and restrictions imposed by local authorities.
- It may only be used in daylight and under clear weather conditions.
- Drones with cameras attached must not be flown within 150 meters of a congested area or 50 meters of a person, vessel, vehicle, or structure that is not under the control of the pilot.
- If the operator is unable to meet all the requirements, he or she may apply to the PCAA for an exemption. Exemptions shall be issued on a case-by-case basis.
- No person may act as a remote pilot in command or VO for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
- No operations from a moving aircraft.
- No operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is over a sparsely populated area.
- No careless or reckless operations.
- No carriage of hazardous materials.
Class-III, Class-IV, and Class-V UAS
i. UAS that weigh more than 2kg are subject to all articles of the Air Navigation Orders (ANOs), and the operators of these aircraft are required to obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA), Remote Pilot Operator License (RPOL), and follow the rules of the air.
- The use of public roads as a take-off and landing ground is not permitted unless approval has been sought by the relevant local authority.
- Use of a UAS for releasing, dispensing, dropping, delivering, or deploying any object or substance shall only be carried out after approval from PCAA.
- Operators are banned from using UAS to tow other aircraft, perform aerial or aerobatic displays, or for the purpose of flying them information or swarm.
- An operator is prohibited from flying a UAS
a. Above 400 feet above ground;
b. Within a 10 NM radius of an airfield;
c. Within 2 km of national borders;
d. Within restricted or prohibited airspace; or
e. Near or above sensitive areas, including a nuclear power plant, prison, police station, or court.
- A B-VLOS operation is permitted only for OC holders approved for such operations by the PCAA. PCAA may approve such operations only if the operator meets certain requirements, which vary depending on whether the operation is in or outside of controlled airspace.
- Operating a UAS directly overhead or a lateral distance of 50 meters from any person is permitted only by an OC holder and with the approval of PCAA. The same rule applies to the operation of a UAS in the vicinity of structures or buildings; however, in this instance, it is also possible to operate a UAS by simply obtaining the permission of the owner of the structure or building in question.
- All operators shall abide by the guidelines and restrictions imposed by local authorities. In case of a flight operation across areas under the jurisdiction of more than one local authority, the operators shall ensure compliance with all guidelines and restrictions imposed by those authorities. In case of ambiguity, the operator may consult local administration.