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.
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