DGCA Proposes Amendments to AOP to Operate Non-Scheduled Passenger Flights

Aviation Regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) proposed amendments to the minimum requirements for the grant of an Air Operator Permit (AOP) to operate non-scheduled passenger flights in India. Non-scheduled passengers may be carried out by using single or multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes, and helicopters duly registered in India. It also includes Gliders, Hot-air balloons, Airships, and Microlight aircraft duly registered in India, only for the purpose of joy rides, and single-engine, turbine-powered airplanes.

The draft proposal said that the grant and continuation of AOP are subject to security clearance from MHA. Denial or withdrawal of security clearance by the MHA at any stage will lead to rejection of the application for AOP, and AOP if already issued, shall be liable to be canceled/withdrawn.

It said that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is the competent authority for the grant of Security Clearance. The request for a grant or renewal of security clearance shall be submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation through eSAHAJ portal.

The validity of security clearance for the Company and Board of Directors shall be co-terminus with the validity of AOP, and a new security clearance shall be required for renewal of AOP, it said.

Moreover, the import/acquisition of aircraft for the purpose of undertaking nonscheduled air transport service shall be governed by Air Transport Circular 02/2017 as amended from time to time.

The aircraft imported for the purpose of non-scheduled operations shall not be disposed of to a party within India intending to use it for private purposes unless the clearance from Customs Authority is obtained, it said.

The applicant shall have at least one aircraft either by outright purchase, or, through a commercial dry lease. The aircraft shall be registered in India and hold a Certificate of Airworthiness in the Normal Passenger category. For import/ acquisition of aircraft, the applicant shall obtain permission from DGCA, it said.

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