Polls: DGCA’s safety norms for air charter operators

Polls: DGCA’s safety norms for air charter operators

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Government of India, on Thursday came out with a set of safety regulations for air charter operators and warned them and their pilots of penal action if these guidelines were not adhered to while flying a VIP/SPG protectees for poll campaigns in Karnataka.

The set of guidelines also directs the operators and flight crew to ensure that no unauthorised cash, narcotics or arms are carried in the flight. It also includes submission of passenger manifests to the aviation regulator.

The regulations come ahead of the state assembly polls in Karnataka. During the hustings, VVIPs, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, are expected to address a series of meetings in the poll-bound state.

“Analysis of earlier accidents/incidents associated with small aircraft/helicopter operations from airstrips/temporary helipads and past experience of election flying by the operators has revealed that laid down instructions were violated time and again and safety was jeopardised.

“Though a number of guidelines and circulars have been issued in the past for ensuring the safety of air operations by small aircraft and helicopters, the instructions are thus reiterated so that the same are followed meticulously for ensuring safe operation of small aircraft/helicopters,” the DGCA said.

According to an industry estimate, the bookings of charter planes go up by up to 40 per cent during the election time compared to a normal business day.

“During every election, we see an increase of 35-40 per cent in chartered plane bookings. We are anticipating the same growth during the Karnataka polls as well. And since the helicopters can fly to even smaller to smaller places or where the fixed-wing aircraft can’t go, the demand for helicopters go up substantially, almost as high as 40 per cent,” luxury air charter services provider ClubOne Air chief executive officer Rajan Mehra said.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily