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Very little sense in DGCA's new proposal for commercial flying: Air charter operators

Air charter operators have come attacked a DGCA proposal to bar them from commercial flying if they do not have a three-aircraft fleet within a year of operations, saying the move made "very little business sense" and would retard connectivity to remote areas.

Updated:October 29, 2014, 7:17 PM IST
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Very little sense in DGCA's new proposal for commercial flying: Air charter operators
Air charter operators have come attacked a DGCA proposal to bar them from commercial flying if they do not have a three-aircraft fleet within a year of operations, saying the move made "very little business sense" and would retard connectivity to remote areas.

New Delhi: Air charter operators have come attacked a DGCA proposal to bar them from commercial flying if they do not have a three-aircraft fleet within a year of operations, saying the move made "very little business sense" and would retard connectivity to remote areas.

Such a proposal would also force several non-scheduled operators (NSOPs) to shut shop and lead to major job losses, the Business Aviation Operators Association (BAOA), which submitted its response to aviation regulator DGCA on Wednesday, said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation came up with a draft rule which would permit a NSOP to launch operations with one plane or a helicopter but raise its fleet size to at least three within a year of securing the flying licence.

The existing NSOPs, which do not have three planes, would be given a year to either have a three-aircraft fleet or convert themselves to private category in which case, they would not be able to carry out commercial or chartered flights. The aircraft could either be purchased or leased.

Commenting on the issue, BAOA President Rohit Kapur said that his organisation "very strongly opposes" the proposal that "appears to be a knee-jerk reaction which will severely impact the growth of general and business aviation sector, forcing a large number of operators to shut shop and result in massive job losses."

"Moreover, it will impair utilization of more than 150 aircraft for charter and other services throughout the country," he said.

"While we are willing to work with them to find answers, such an amendment is certainly not a solution to anything," Kapur said.

In their letter to DGCA, BAOA said the proposed amendment to the rules would "severely retard the growth of regional/remote connectivity as it is contrary" to the government's policy to connect such areas.

It said the proposal would "result in closure of 80 out of the total 120 NSOPs, call for more than 4,000 layoffs in general and business aviation sector."

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