DGCA revises regulations to boost seaplane operations | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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DGCA revises regulations to boost seaplane operations

Jun 20, 2024 12:03 PM IST

The DGCA said the revised regulations were issued following a recommendation by their Working Group to streamline and update the regulatory framework in question

In a major boost to seaplane operations in the country, the civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has revamped rules for its smooth operations.

Initially established in 2008, the regulatory framework for seaplane operations was long due for a review. (File photo)
Initially established in 2008, the regulatory framework for seaplane operations was long due for a review. (File photo)

“The pivotal amendments streamline infrastructure procedures, pilot training requirements, and regulatory compliances, paving the way for seaplane services to reach remote, inaccessible areas,” a statement by the DGCA read.

Initially established in 2008, the regulatory framework for seaplane operations was long due for a review.

The DGCA said the revised regulations were issued following a recommendation by their Working Group to streamline and update the regulatory framework in question.

“The revised regulations incorporate easier training requirements and simplified approval processes for undertaking seaplane operations,” it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a seaplane service between Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad and Kevadia on October 31, 2020, almost three years after he travelled by seaplane from Sabarmati riverfront to Dharoj Dam in 2017 and announced his government’s intention to harness waterways.

Also Read:Gujarat’s seaplane project may get relaunched before assembly polls: Official

Previously, between 2011 and 2017, Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHHL) and Mumbai-based Maritime Energy Heli Air Service Pvt Ltd (Mehair) had operated seaplane services in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Mehair had also operated seaplanes between Mumbai to Pawna dam (Lonavla) and Mumbai to Aamby Valley. These operations, however, closed owing to poor response and high-ticket prices.

“The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had spearheaded the initiative on promoting the seaplane ecosystem, providing guidance and engaging with stakeholders, including DGCA, state governments, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Airlines, and Aircraft Manufacturers. These collaborative efforts have ensured that the new regulations address key stakeholder concerns and pave the way for growth in this niche area,” a DGCA official said.

He said that, with the revised regulatory provisions, seaplane operators can utilise the streamlined procedures and optimized infrastructure requirements, to further extend seaplane services across the country and reach the most remote parts, fostering inclusive and sustainable development.

The simplified water aerodrome requirements would also aid in economical and efficient operations while maintaining essential safety standards.

Commenting on pilot requirements, a second official said, “Pilots with a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) can now qualify as seaplane rated pilots by undertaking training at any ICAO-recognized training organization globally.”

“Additionally, new training opportunities for support roles are set to enhance employment potential at seaplane hubs nationwide,” he concluded.

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