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Official highlights of 2011 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation

This is the official take of the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation on highlights of 2011.

Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) signed with USA
India has signed Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) with United States on 18th July, 2011. This agreement provides for mutual certification of aeronautical products. It recognizes the mutual benefit of improved procedures for the reciprocal acceptance of airworthiness approvals and environmental testing, and the development of reciprocal recognition procedures for approval and monitoring of flight simulation training devices, aircraft maintenance facilities, maintenance personnel, flight crew members and flight operations. An Implementation Procedure for Airworthiness (IPA) was also signed in November, 2011.

India-US Aviation Summit
An India-US Aviation Summit was held in New Delhi from the 16th to the 18th of November 2011 in cooperation with the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The summit continued with the commitment of the United States and India to advance cooperation in the aviation sector. It focused on technical, policy and commercial elements in the sector, including infrastructure development, air traffic management, air traffic control, aviation security, general aviation and airspace utilization throughout India.

Amendments of Air Services Agreements (ASAs) with foreign countries
Keeping in view the recent developments in the Civil Aviation Sector and with a view to modernize and update the existing Air Services Agreements (ASAs) with foreign countries as per the ICAO templates, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has signed ASAs with Indonesia and Brazil and ASAs initialed with Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mozambique, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago.

European Union Emission Trading System (EU-ETS)

An international meeting of ICAO council and other Non-EU member states was held in New Delhi on 29th – 30th September to discuss the inclusion of aviation in the European Union Emission Trading System (EU-ETS). Discussions included legal objection to EUETs, Policy objections, the role of ICAO-the way forward and discussions on next steps.

27 countries including India participated: Argentine Republic, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and United States of America. It was attended by over 70 delegates.

A Joint Declaration was negotiated and adopted at New Delhi on 30th September, 2011 opposing the scheme.India thereafter took the lead to co-present a Working Paper (WP), in ICAO Council which included the Joint Declaration. This was adopted in the 194th Council Session of ICAO meeting held on 2nd November, 2011.

India-ICAN conference, 2011

The President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil inaugurated the 4th ICAO Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) Conference held in Mumbai from 17-22 October, 2011. ICAN has been conceptualized by ICAO as ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for bilateral negotiation process.

A special Africa session was also held on the inaugural day which included participants from the African Union, ICAO, Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The Conference was attended by 64 states and 04 Regional Bodies. During the conference, more than 370 bilateral meetings were held between air services negotiators from states in all regions of the world which led to the signing of over 120 agreements and arrangements. India met with 37 countries and signed MoUs/agreed minutes with 22 countries.

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA)

  • In the Flying Calendar Year Jan – Dec 2011, approximately 17000 hours have been completed and a total number of 80 CPL holders graduated in the current year.
  • DA 42 Aircraft and one DA 42 Simulator have been inducted for multi engine training.
  • 125 aspiring cadets have been selected to undergo training for the next year at IGRUA.
  • Considering the need for skilled manpower by the growing civil aviation industry in the country a proposal for upgradating (sic) IGRUA to a national Aviation University, is being considered.
  • A proposal for the Airports Authority of India to take over Fursatganj Airfield, with a view to extend the runaway and convert it into a Civil Airport, along with a Cargo Hub and Maintenance Repair Organization Center, is under consideration.
  • To supplement the demand for skilled technical manpower is proposed to start an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer training school at IGRUA.

Editor’s Note: Why a commission for railways is under the civil aviation ministry is beyond our understanding.
Commission of Railway Safety performs its duty under rules framed under Indian Railways Act, 1989. In year 2011 (from Jan to Nov) CRS inquired into the 04 cases of collision, 07 cases of derailment, 06 cases of level crossing and 07 cases of unusual incidents. Besides that 473.959 KM new railway lines has been inspected by the CRS.

Air India Ltd.

  • Air India has extended the offer of discounted fares in full fare economy class to para-military forces. Earlier similiar discounts was provided to Armed forces personnel and their family members.
  • Air India has also decided to honour the children who are recipients of National Bravery Award 2010 by offering free tickets for their travel on domestic network along-with their parents/Guardians.
  • Air Chief Marshal Fali H. Major (retd.) was appointed as non-official part–time Director on the Board of Air India Charters Limited for a period of 3 years with effect from 10th May 2011.

Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd.
The main objectives of PHHL are to provide helicopter support services to meet the requirement of oil sector, conduct operations in hilly and remote terrain, connecting inaccessible areas and providing charters for promotion of travel and tourism. Besides the above, the company has recently added the objectives of setting up of Heliports, helipads, Training Institute and Safety Institute. PHHL has emerged as one of Asia’s largest helicopter operators having a well-balanced own operational fleet of 42 helicopters at present.

  • The paid up share capital of the Company has been increased from Rs. 113.766 crores to Rs. 245.616 crores.
  • In 2010-11 the company achieved record revenue hours of 32175 as compared to 29890 in 2009-10.
  • Highest ever operating revenue of Rs. 423.96 in 2010-11 as compared to Rs. 384.04 crores in 2009-10 has been achieved.
  • As on 31.03.2011 the Company had operation & maintenance contract of 01 Dauphin N3 helicopter of Government of Gujarat, 2 Dhruv helicopters owned by ONGC and 4 Dhruv helicopters owned by BSF (MHA). Further, the company has signed in December 2010 another contract with HAL for operation & maintenance of 4 more Dhruv helicopters of BSF. The Company has provided one Dhruv helicopter taken on lease from HAL to Government of Maharashtra for Anti-Naxal activities at Gadcharoli, Maharashtra.
  • At present 16 Dauphin N & N3 helicopters are on contract with ONGC out of which 2 Dauphins are stationed overnight at the main platforms in addition to a dedicated Night Ambulance to meet any emergency evacuation.

Important Policy Decisions Taken during the year 2011

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in the meeting held on 29.03.2011 approved a proposal of AAI for a one-time grant-in-aid of Rs. 378.00 crore for final operational phase of a GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) project over Indian Air Space subject to certain conditions.
  • A seminar on operation of Seaplanes in India was organized by Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA and PHHL on 22.04.2011.
  • A New Transfer Policy has been implemented by Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). The new regional offices of BCAS will now be opened at Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Guwahati and Amritsar and will be manned by the BCAS officers.
  • In order to streamline and facilitate the Public service delivery systems of Ministry of Civil Aviation and its organizations it has been decided to constitute a Task Force to consider modalities of introduction of a “Single Window Public Service Delivery System”
  • Ministry of Civil Aviation is the nodal Ministry for arranging to Haj Air Charter Flights to carry Haj pilgrims selected by Haj Committee of India. For the Haj Operation 2011, Ministry has selected two airlines viz. Saudi Arabia Airlines and NAS Air through competitive bid system from eligible airlines. A total of 875 flights were operated to carry 1,25,000 Haj pilgrims from 21 embarkation points in India. The whole Haj operation was completed on scheduled with almost 99% flights operated on day by schedule.
  • The Bay of Bengal Arabian Sea India Ocean Safety Monitoring Agency (BOBASMA) has been endorsed as a competent Air Space Safety Monitoring Agency by the Regional Air Space Safety Monitoring Advisory Group, ICAO. The Enroute Monitoring Agency is presently monitoring PBN compliance and assessing the level of safety in horizontal plane.
  • The Air Traffic Management (ATM) Contingency Plan for Indian Flight Information Regions (FIRs) have been updated to included revised route structure for safe and orderly flow of international traffic through upper Indian Air Space in case of disruption of Air Traffic Services.
  • Installation of Air Traffic Services (ATS) automation system has been completed at Mangalore
  • On the airports side the revised charges for handling Non Scheduled Operators (NSOs) at airports which were not within the ambit of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority, has been implemented with immediate effect.
  • With regard to major airports, the Airports Authority of India (Major Airports) Development Fee Rules, 2011 have been notified on 02.08.2011 in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (ii) of section 22A read with clause (ee) of sub-section (2) of section 41 of the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994 (55 of 1994)
  • With regard to perceived security threats from the surrounding areas of IGI Airport including the hospitality area (Aerocity), a Committee has been constituted by BCAS consisting of representatives from CISF, MCA, MHA, R&AW, ARC, Delhi Police and AAI under the Chairmanship of Jt. Commissioner of Security (CA).
  • Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) dated 11th August 2011 regarding Flight and Duty Time Limitations and Rest Requirements of Flight crew engaged in scheduled/non-scheduled air transport operations and general aviation aeroplanes operations has been issued. The CAR is based on the report of the Committee formed by the Government to review the flight duty and time limitations of flight crew.
  • Minimum Safety Requirements for Helicopter Landing Areas used on Regular basis has been issued and which lays down the minimum safety requirements for helicopter operating to/from helicopter landing areas within the Indian Territory outside and licensed aerodrome/heliports and procedures to be followed by Helicopter operations for such operations.
  • Digital Automatic Terminal Information Service (DATIS) has been installed at Dehradun, Udaipur, Bhuntar airports, permitting automatic broadcast of Airport information to the Airlines/Pilots.
  • AAI has installed an Instrument Landing System at Agra, a defence airfield, commissioning flight check has been successfully completed.
  • ILS has been commissioned at Delhi for runway 09.
  • Guidelines in the form of air traffic management circular have been issued on mandatory rest of relief for Air Traffic Control Operators (ATCOs). This will help in reducing stress and fatigue of ATCOs and improving overall safety levels.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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