The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Bombay High Court's interim order, which would have translated into less work for some pilots, and allowed the government to continue following the 1992 guidelines which permit a pilot to undertake a maximum number of three landings during a nine-hour shift.
The apex court has put the brakes on the relief granted by the High Court to pilots through which the number of maximum landings during one shift were sought to be brought down from three to two.
Various pilot associations had opposed the operation of 1992 guidelines and favoured the rules circulated by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 2007 reducing the number of maximum landings to two within nine hours.
Solicitor General GE Vahanvati, appearing for DGCA, said the aviation regulator came out with the circulars on May 29 and June 2 to keep in abeyance the 2007 rules and continuing with the 1992 guidelines.
It was these circulars that the pilots had challenged in the High Court which, in an interim order, stayed the DGCA's move to continue following the Aeronautical Information Circulars (AIC) of 1992.
While allowing DGCA's plea, a Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, said the High Court's interim order will interfere with flight schedule and its operation as it is prepared in advance.
It remanded the matter back to the Bombay High Court asking it to dispose it of expeditiously by commencing the hearing on July 21.