The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has amended its relevant regulations to include a provision for scheduled commuter airlines to fly on single-engine turbine airplanes (SET) at night. This gives access to enhanced connectivity to remote parts of the country in a phased manner on approved routes.
Besides enhancing connectivity, the move is expected to boost utilisation of small airlines.
Earlier, operations in remote areas of the country by small airlines were restricted to daytime operations and visual flight rules.
These new amendments will enhance connectivity in these areas.
According to the DGCA, “The operations circular has been amended to incorporate the guidance material and detailed guidelines in order to modify the assessment of routes, their continued assessment, qualification, experience, training and assessment requirements of the crew; operational, certification and airworthiness requirements to ensure that safe operations are carried out on single engine airplanes. The grant of such approval would be based on the assessment of Operators meeting these requirements."
Operations of the scheduled commuter airlines for the remote parts were introduced in 2018 and were till now restricted to day operations and Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
The requirements have been incorporated based on the report summited by expert committee constituted by DGCA.
The grant of such approval would be based on the assessment of operators meeting these requirements.
The expert committee reviewed International regulations and global best practices for scheduled commuter operations at night, taking into account worldwide safety data, Indian safety data, and operational experience acquired over time.
The committee also carried out a safety risk assessment and practical flight trials with the industry to identify the deficiencies/hazards and incorporate the safety enhancement measures.
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