Government Amends Aircraft Rules, Commercial Pilot Licences Now Valid For 10 Years


The Indian government has taken substantial steps to bolster the aviation sector and improve the ease of conducting business within this critical industry.

One of the noteworthy measures involves a series of amendments to the Aircraft Rules of 1937.

These changes address various aspects of aviation, with the primary goal of streamlining procedures, reducing administrative burdens, and ensuring safety and security.

Licence Validity Extension

Among the significant modifications is the extension of the validity period for Commercial Pilot Licences (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot Licences (ATPL).

Previously, these licences were valid for a period of five years. However, the recent amendments have doubled their validity to 10 years.

This extension is not only expected to reduce the administrative workload on pilots but also to simplify the licensing process. It provides greater flexibility for pilots and aligns with the evolving needs of the aviation sector.

Display Of Lights Near Aerodromes

Another critical aspect addressed by these amendments is the regulations surrounding the display of lights in the vicinity of aerodromes. This includes an expanded definition of the term ‘light’, which now encompasses lantern lights, wish kites, and laser lights.

Furthermore, the government’s jurisdiction over individuals displaying such lights has been extended from a radius of five kilometres to five nautical miles around an aerodrome.

These changes are particularly significant as they explicitly grant the government the authority to take action against individuals displaying lights that may disrupt the safe operation of aircraft or pose hazards to the operating crew, reports Economic Times.

If such lights remain unattended for 24 hours, the government is empowered to enter the location and extinguish them. Moreover, the matter can be reported to the relevant police station for potential legal action under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). This expanded jurisdiction and clear regulations aim to enhance safety and security within the aviation sector.

Validation Of Foreign Licenses

The amendments also eliminate the requirement for the validation of foreign licences. This change signifies the government’s intent to align regulations with the evolving needs of the aviation sector and ease international cooperation within the industry.

This modification can potentially simplify the process for foreign pilots or individuals holding licences from other countries who wish to operate within India.

Enhanced Competence Requirements For Air Traffic Controllers

Additionally, these amendments introduce increased flexibility in the requirements for continued competence for Air Traffic Controller (ATC) licence holders. The new regulations mandate that ATC licence holders complete a minimum of ten hours of simulated exercises, including emergency scenarios.

Subsequently, they must undergo a skill assessment for their respective rating within ten consecutive days of commencing these exercises. This change aims to accommodate situations with limited movements or watch hours while ensuring the continued competence of ATC personnel.

The recent amendments to the Aircraft Rules, 1937, signify a prominent shift in promoting the ease of doing business and enhancing safety and security within the Indian aviation sector.

In a rapidly growing aviation market, these changes contribute to streamlining processes, reducing administrative burdens, and ensuring that India remains at the forefront of the global aviation industry.

By aligning regulations with the evolving needs of the sector and addressing safety concerns, these amendments provide a robust framework for the continued growth and development of the aviation industry in India.