New Delhi: New safety rules have been put in
place for VIP operation of planes and helicopters to avoid
mishaps like the one which killed former Andhra Pradesh Chief
Minister YSR Reddy.
The rules, framed by the Directorate General of Civil
Aviation (DGCA), encompass all aspects of flight operations --
from acquisition of aircraft, employment of crew and engineers
to definition of VIPs.
The new rule says that a VIP flight would mean having
amongst the passengers any one of the eight categories of
The categories include the Lok Sabha Speaker, Rajya Sabha
Deputy Chairperson, Cabinet ministers, Chief Justice of India,
Governors, Chief Ministers, state Cabinet ministers and the
SPG protectees who enjoy `Z-plus` category security.
The President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister
travel on IAF aircraft as a rule.
While no flight would be allowed to be operated when
"weather conditions are not conducive to safe operations",
every VIP flight would be operated with "a multiple crew
composition", the Civil Aviation Requirement says.
Stringent conditions have been laid down for the pilots
of planes and helicopters.
A Pilot-in-Command (PIC) should either have a Commercial
Pilot License (CPL) or an Airline Transport Pilots License
(ATPL) with at least 3,000 hours of flying experience, of
which 2,000 hours should be as a PIC on the type of aircraft
to be flown. He or she should also have a minimum of 50 hours
of night flying experience.
For helicopter pilots, the commander should possess
similar licenses, with 2,000 hours of flying experience
including 500 hours as PIC on the same aircraft type. They
should also have at least 10 hours of night flying experience.
In order to regulate flight operations of state
governments and PSUs, many of which have a fleet of planes or
choppers, the DGCA has specified rules for recruitment of
pilots, crew and engineers and also their training programmes.
Similar rules have also been laid down for aircraft
maintenance and repairs, besides other airworthiness
The aircraft should be fitted with all suitable
equipments needed for instrument flying and pilots should hold
valid instrument ratings, the rule stresses.
The aviation departments of state governments or aviation
divisions of PSUs would have to apply to the DGCA for
undertaking aircraft operations with a fee of Rs 1 lakh.
They would be granted permits which would be renewable
every two years depending on fulfilment of all necessary