The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has withdrawn and amended its proposal that suggested re-designation of all non-scheduled operator permit (NSOP) holders with less than three aircraft as ‘private’ airlines.
Officials on Tuesday said the civil aviation requirement to get a licence has now been retained to one aircraft only, as against three proposed earlier to get licence to fly the non-scheduled aircraft commercially. The DGCA proposal had also suggested de-licensing of such existing commercial non scheduled flight operators, a move that was criticised by the Business Aircraft Operator’s Association (BAOA) as “retrograde”, and one that would force a majority of India’s air charter industry to stop all “commercial” flights.
Earlier, in October, the aviation regulator had proposed a draft rule which would have permitted a non-scheduled air operator to start operations with one plane or a helicopter, but to raise the fleet size to at least three within a year of securing the flying licence.
The DGCA had invited comments on the proposal after a public notice was issued on October 13 regarding “revision to the applicability requirement… on minimum requirements for grant of permit to operate non scheduled air transport services.” The last date of receiving suggestions was November 12.
The new rule, that was notified on November 17, says that an applicant who seeks a non-scheduled operator’s permit should be “in possession of at least one aircraft, either by outright purchase or on lease (without crew)”.