The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made it mandatory for all commercial non-scheduled operators (NSOPs) to undertake initial and recurrent training programmes for air crew, flight dispatchers and cabin crew with effect from June this year to ensure grant and validity of air operator’s permit (AOP).
“The operator shall establish and maintain a ground training programme, approved by DGCA. This includes initial and recurrent training”, DGCA has directed in its circular.
If NSOPs are unable to develop integral training capability due to lack of scale and reasons of economy, the country’s aviation safety regulator has said, they should sub-contract the same to other operators, approved training organisations (ATOs) and ground training organisations (GTOs).
The ATOs and GTOs would be given approval for specific training programmes by DGCA following a five-phase certification process.
The NSOP, however, has to ensure that the training facilities contracted for, meet the requirements of its approved training programme.
The direction from DGCA comes on the heels of US-based Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restoring category I status to India’s aviation safety oversight mechanism based on the regulator’s promise to meet four stringent conditions.
The FAA has specified the local aviation regulator would have to hire a total of 72 flight operations inspectors (FOIs), recertify all scheduled airlines, NSOPs and flying training organisations to retain the top ranking.
There are as many as 35 flying training organisations and 122 NSOPs registered with the regulator.
The DGCA had recertified Air India and Jet Airways — operating to the US, ahead of a FAA audit in December 2014. Recertification process has now started for IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Air Costa.