India Relaxes Regulations for BizAv Operators, AIN Neelam Mathews, 4/12/2014
Much to the relief of India’s business aviation community, the country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) released a trio of positive guidelines for the industry this week—including, notably, an abrupt about-face on a proposal issued in October that would have prohibited operators with fewer than three aircraft from offering charter flights. Without this reversal, 93 non-scheduled operator permit (NSOP) holders in India with fewer than three aircraft—of 120 NSOPs total—would have had to augment their fleets by October 2015 or face losing their charter authorization.
The DGCA has also revised its policy that limits seating capacity for charter operators using turbine singles, bringing it in line with EASA and FAA rules. The Indian agency previously permitted a maximum of nine passenger seats but has raised the limit to 12 passenger seats. “Over the years, turbine engines have proved their reliability, prompting the FAA to move for amendment of its earlier directions,” a Business Aviation Operators Association (BAOA) spokesperson told AIN. The FAA currently allows nine seats for domestic flights and 12 for international.
An order that required flight data recorders (FDR) on multi-engine turbine aircraft with an mtow of 5,700 kg/12,566 pounds or less also was rescinded. Type II FDRs would have been required by the end of this month for such aircraft with a certificate of airworthiness first issued on or after Jan. 1, 1989. The recording devices are no longer mandatory, but the DGCA still recommends they be installed on these aircraft.