Business aircraft operators cry foul over new fleet norms

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel October 30, 2014 14:26

Business aircraft operators cry foul over new fleet norms

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New Delhi, Oct 30  The Business Aircraft Operators’ Association of India has taken strong exception to a recent notice of the aviation regulator that sets the minimum fleet size for a non-scheduled airline company at three aircraft.

“This appears to be a knee jerk reaction which will severely impact the growth of the General and Business Aviation sector, forcing a large number of operators to shut shop and result in massive job losses,” association president Rohit Kapur said in a statement.

“Moreover, it will impair utilization of more than 150 aircraft for charter and other services throughout the country,” he said, referring to the notice of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The asociation said the proposed amendment, raising the fleet size from one to three aircraft, will severely retard the growth of regional and remote connectivity as it is contrary to the civil aviation ministry’s policy.

“Majority of non-scheduled operators have only one aircraft, and are looking forward to deploying them on remote routes. It would be in the best interest of the aviation industry to frame regulatory requirement in conformity with the policy of ministry.”

The association said this step will not reduce the safety oversight of the regulator, which appeared to be the purpose of the amendment. On the contrary it will lead to the closure of 80 of of 120 non-scheduled operators and render 4,000 people jobnless.

Even international norms do not call for such steps.

Increasing the fleet size requires heavy investments that are beyond the reach of most members, said the association, adding: “There is little business sense to invest in more aircraft when demand in general and business aviation has been sluggish over the past many years.”

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel October 30, 2014 14:26