Coronavirus Outbreak: DGCA issues guidelines for aircraft storage, their return to service post-lockdown period
Cargo flights, offshore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and special flights permitted by the DGCA are allowed to operate during this lockdown.
New Delhi: As almost all commercial passenger aircraft in India have been grounded due to COVID-19 lockdown, aviation regulator DGCA on Thursday issued guidelines for their storage and subsequent return to service.
"Some aircraft manufacturers have recommended storage programmes. An operator may use these recommendations while developing their own specific storage programme," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) circular noted, adding that each company's storage programme must be approved by the regulator.
"Depending on the level of preservation, intended length of storage, and the security of the aircraft, the operator should consider removing the C of A (certificate of airworthiness), the C of R (certificate of registration) and other documents on board, from stored aircraft of safekeeping," the circular added.
India has imposed a 21-day lockdown till 14 April to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, all domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this time period.
However, cargo flights, offshore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and special flights permitted by the DGCA are allowed to operate during this lockdown.
Airlines have also been authorised to transport cargo across the country using commercial passenger aircraft. IndiGo, SpiceJet, AirAsia India and Air India have been conducting such flights.
However, most aircraft of Indian airlines are grounded currently.
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Since suspension of international flights in March, over 2,500 repatriation flights by foreign carriers to take stranded passengers to/from India have been approved, DGCA added
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