New Delhi- Aviation safety regulator DGCA has allowed scheduled commuter airlines to operate their single engine aircraft at night, a move that will help in enhancing air connectivity to remote areas during night hours.
The operations with Single Engine Turbine (SET) planes was introduced for Scheduled Commuter Airlines (SCAs) in 2018. Till now, such operations were restricted to day operations and Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
Generally, SCAs operate regional flights.
In a release on Tuesday, aviation watchdog DGCA said it has amended its relevant regulations to include a provision for SCAs to fly at night on airplanes.
The operations circular has also been amended to incorporate the guidance material and detailed guidelines to modify the assessment of routes, qualification, experience, training, and assessment requirements of the crew, among other aspects, the release said.
Besides, operational, certification and airworthiness requirements have also been taken into account to ensure that safe operations are carried out on single engine airplanes.
The grant of such approval would be based on the assessment of operators meeting these requirements, which have been incorporated on the basis of the report submitted by an expert committee constituted by the DGCA.
The committee reviewed international regulations and global best practices for such SET scheduled commuter operations at night, worldwide safety as well as India safety data and operational experience gained over a period of time, as per the release.
The committee also carried out safety risk assessment and practical flight trials to identify the deficiencies/hazards and incorporate the safety enhancement measures, the release added.
The government has been working on ways to boost regional air connectivity across the country.
Foreign Airlines To Operate 2,336 Weekly Flights To And From 23 Indian Cities In Current Winter Schedule
As many as 50 foreign airlines will be operating 2,336 weekly flights to and from various Indian cities during the winter schedule and the number of flights is 9 per cent higher compared to the year-ago period.
The winter schedule that started on October 29, 2023 will continue till March 30, 2024.
A total of 80 scheduled foreign carriers will be operating flights to and from 23 stations during the 2023-24 winter schedule compared to 75 overseas airlines that had services in the 2022-23 winter schedule, according to DGCA.
The number of weekly services at 2,336 is higher by 9.36 per cent compared to 2,136 flights in the year-ago period.
The total number of seats to be operated on a weekly basis is 5,89,748 in the current winter schedule compared to 5,49,610 seats in the 2022-23 winter schedule.
“A total of 2,336 departures per week have been approved to/from 23 stations in India to 50 countries, including Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK and Uzbekistan.
The 23 Indian cities include Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Calicut (Kozhikode), Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Lucknow.
Others are Madurai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Trivandrum, Tirchy, Varanasi and Visakhapatnam.
In the current winter schedule, eight foreign airlines that did not operate in the previous winter schedule will be operating flights. The carriers are Air Peace, Batik Air, Belavia, EL AL Israel, ITA Airways, NeosS.p.a, NOK AIR and Uganda Airlines.
Three airlines — Air Austral, Salam Air and Yemen Airway — that had operated flights during the previous winter schedule are not operating services in the 2023-24 winter schedule.