CONCERNED WITH rising incidents of private planes being used to ferry large amounts of demonetised currency, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued an order Tuesday asking them not to operate on non-guarded airfields without the approval of the local administration.
Issued by Joint Director General (DGCA) Lalit Gupta, the circular stated that general aviation flights — from non-guarded or non-operational airports — should not be operated without the approval of the area’s Deputy Superintendent of Police.
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The order comes after a Bihar-based businessman, who was travelling alone in a chartered jet, was apprehended last week at Nagaland’s Dimapur airport for allegedly carrying Rs 3.5 crore in demonetised currency. The Civil Aviation Ministry had said it would take legal action — including filing an FIR — against the pilot who flew the jet.
Taking strong note of such incidents, the DGCA issued the circular, reiterating certain existing provisions that need to be followed by non-scheduled operator (NSOP) permit holders. “All NSOP holders and private aircraft operators are directed to strictly comply with the provisions of the AVSEC (aviation security) order… failing which strict action shall be initiated against the pilot-in-command as well as the operator,” it said.
The circular has been issued on the basis of an earlier AVSEC order. The DGCA said screening of passengers and their baggage in small aircraft/helicopters up to 10 seats should be done by the pilot-in-command as per BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) regulations, while verifications have to be carried out by police authorities concerned. BCAS is responsible for aviation security in the country.