DGCA issues guidelines on carrying cargo in passenger compartment of aircraft
Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday issued guidelines for airlines that want to carry cargo in the passenger compartment of aircraft.
"Operator intending to carry cargo in passenger compartment shall apply to DGCA at least 10 days prior to the proposed commencement of operations," the regulator said in its guidelines.
It said the cargo must not exceed 22.5 kg per seat place or 50 kg if it is a single package laid on triple seat. Moreover, it said the cargo must not be higher than the height of the seat.
"Cargo stowed under seats shall not exceed 9 kg per seat place," the DGCA noted.
Only people who are "essentially required" should be on board during any such flight, it added.
The regulator made it clear that carrying passengers as well as cargo in the passenger compartment at the same time is not allowed.
"Further, operator shall ensure that such operations (cargo flight) do not affect or disrupt their approved schedule," it noted.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had on January 8 issued guidelines to all aircraft operators who plan to transport Covid-19 vaccines packed in dry ice to various parts of the country, outlining the necessary safety precautions and modalities.
Dry ice transforms into carbon dioxide gas at temperatures higher than minus 78 degrees Celsius under normal atmospheric pressure and, therefore, it is classified as "dangerous goods" by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it had said.
Therefore, on Friday, the regulator said operators whenever carrying Covid-19 vaccine in dry ice must deactivate any automatic activation of the passenger oxygen system on the aircraft.
"Operator shall not load or restrain cargo in any manner than obstructs decompression vents or airflow when the vents are activated," it stated.
India started its Covid-19 vaccine movement from Tuesday morning, with planes taking the vaccines from manufacturing centres like Pune and Hyderabad to various parts of the country.
India's Covid-19 vaccination drive will begin from Saturday.
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