Business Standard, August 20, 2014

New policy for general aviation sector may halve licensing time for NSOPs

Incentives being considered to help NSOPs invest in aircraft to promote regional connectivity

Sharmistha Mukherjee | New Delhi
August 20, 2014 Last Updated at 19:42 IST

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is working on framing a comprehensive policy for the general aviation sector which may reduce by half the time required for issuing licenses to non-scheduled operators (NSOPs).

At present, both scheduled and nonscheduled operators have to meet the same guidelines for securing a flying licence. The proposed rules could result in NSOPs securing a flying licence in six months as compared to the year’s time required for the same currently.

A senior official in DGCA said, “NSOPs do not need to meet a lot of conditions to get a licence, which the scheduled operators have to, since they operate with less complex aircraft. We are trying to come up with a new CAR for them which would make it simpler for them to sustain operations.”

There are about 130 NSOPs in the country that are registered with the DGCA.

Further to promote regional connectivity, the regulator has asked constituted a committee comprising industry members and senior DGCA officials to recommend ways to improve utilization of assets of operators in the general aviation sector and both manned and unmanned airports in the country.

The industry stakeholders in the committee have been asked to identity route clusters for starting operations, type of aircraft that can be deployed to maintain viable operations and additionally recommend incentives which would help NSOPs invest in appropriate aircraft type for enhancing regional and remote connectivity.

All these issues along with recommendations outlined by industry members in the committee are set to come up for consultation before DGCA shortly.

The industry stakeholders (registered with the Business Aircraft Operators’ Association) have recently submitted a consolidated report to the DGCA outlining specific guidelines to help frame a comprehensive policy to regulate aircraft operating in the general and business aviation (GA/BA) sectors.

A person in the know of the development said consolidated guidelines under 10 separate heads have been submitted to the aviation regulator to facilitate framing of the policy.

The recommendations among others include guidelines for training, licensing and flight-duty time limitation (FDTL) norms specific to the sector, safety guidelines for operating in all weather conditions, for single pilot operations and for aircraft management. Suggestions have also been made to promote measures which would facilitate regional and remote connectivity.

Currently, there are no specific regulations governing general and business aviation operations.

The DGCA had therefore mandated an eight-membered committed comprising of industry stakeholders and headed by Joint DG Arvind Sardana to bring our a comprehensive CAR (Civil Aviation Reqiurement) for GA/BA aircraft involved in commercial as well as private operations.

Date: 
Wednesday, 20 August, 2014
Publication: 
Business Standard