Monday, December 30, 2019

DGCA issues licences to 2,264 air traffic controllers

New Delhi: Pilots flying commercial aircraft in India will no longer carry a paper booklet, torn in many cases of those doing so for decades, as their licence. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday showcased smart licences it is switching over to, similar to driving licences issued in any states.

The first ever DGCA-issued licences to air traffic controllers (ATCO) of Airports Authority of India (AAI) were on Monday handed over by civil aviation minister HS Puri .
An audit by UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in November, 2017, recommended that aviation regulator DGCA should have oversight over the functions of ATCOs of AAI. The audit likened AAI issuing licences to controllers, who are its own employees, to an airline issuing licences to its pilots. Since aviation regulators issue licences to pilots and then the latter join airlines, ICAO recommended a similar provision for ATCOs.
After this, the aviation ministry had asked DGCA to issue licences and rating to air traffic controllers of AAI. “To enable licensing of ATCOs, the DGCA approved AAI’s Air Traffic Services Training Organisations at Prayagraj, Hyderabad and Gondia to conduct approved training courses for controllers. A total of around 2,400 ATCOs submitted their applications for issuance of licences to DGCA and as on date 2,264 licences have been issued.
30/12/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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