India's aviation regulator DGCA on Friday extended the validity of pilots' licences that were nearing expiry by 90 days, noting that they were facing issues in completing various requirements due to the restrictions imposed to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. Similarly, the regulator has also extended the validity of medical assessment certificates, aircraft rating certificates, skill test certificates, etc, for a period of 90 days.
"DGCA is aware that operators and individual license holders are facing issues in completing their requirements towards renewal, issuance of various pilot licenses and ratings and to exercise the privileges of their respective licenses and ratings including temporary authorizations (FATA)," the regulator stated in a public notice on Friday.
FATA stands for Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorization, which is issued to foreign pilots that are working for Indian airlines.
"Due to the impact of COVID-19, restrictions have been imposed by the government. Owing to this, several training organisations utilised for the training of flight crew, conduct of checks have been affected and shut down in many places," the public notice said.
"Training organisations have also been shut down in many other ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) contracting states," the notice added.
While more than 700 persons have been infected by the virus in India, 17 people have died due to it, according to the Union health ministry.