Framework sought for charter operations

Private air operators on Friday urged the government to evolve a policy framework for non-scheduled air operations, saying lack of it was impeding the growth of general aviation.

Business Aircraft Operator’s Association (BAOA), an umbrella body of non-scheduled operators (NSOPs), also objected to DGCA’s surprise checks saying its public observations “misrepresent the proven safety consciousness prevailing among NSOPs and private aircraft operators”.

In a letter to the Civil Aviation Ministry, BAOA Secretary Group Capt R K Bali also pointed out that DGCA’s downgrade by US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was “due to shortage of qualified staff” to carry out operational and airworthiness inspections of aircraft.

“It is not fair to make Indian NSOP operators a scapegoat to showcase DGCA’s authority by subjective reporting of the observations during these (recent) inspections,” Bali said.The letter came days after the DGCA grounded a business jet of the Ambani Group and found faults with those owned by several others corporate houses and private charter firms.

The private operators fly 552 aircraft, many of which are now being used by political leaders for poll campaign.

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