Register drones by Jan 31 or face action: Aviation Ministry

The Aviation Ministry announced a scheme providing a window up to January 31 for voluntary registration of all drones and their operators, days after top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a U.S drone attack.

Those who fail to register will face action under the Indian Penal Code and the Aircraft Act.

In a notice, the ministry said: "The presence of such drones as well as drone operators has come to the notice of the government which do not comply with the CAR (civil aviation requirements)."

"In order to facilitate the identification of civil drones and drone operators, a one-time opportunity for voluntary disclosure of such drones and drone operators is being provided... All persons in possession of drones are required to complete the process (of online registration) by January 31, 2020," it added.

The number of illegal drones in India is likely to be between 50,000 and 60,000, co-chair of a FICCI committee on drones, Ankit Mehta, had said on October 22 last year.

Major General Soleimani, 62, the head of Iran's elite al-Quds force and architect of its regional security apparatus, was killed when a U.S military drone fired missiles at his convoy while it was leaving the Baghdad International Airport on January 3.