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Federation Of Indian Pilots Raises Concerns To Aviation Minister On Delay In Implementation Of New Norms

The Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) flagged concerns to the Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, regarding the implementation of the revised flight duty norms for pilots. The FIP expressed worries, in a letter dated March 28, that the aviation regulatory body, the DGCA, is delaying putting the new norms in place and placing the health of the pilots at risk for commercial gains of the operators. 

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently postponed the revised Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) norms that were to be put in place from June 1, 2024, reported PTI. The new rules were proposed to help provide more rest hours for pilots and alleviate issues related to pilot fatigue. 

The FIP in its letter noted that, “The action of the DGCA not only endangers pilot safety but also undermines the safety of passengers which the implementation of the revised CAR (Civil Aviation Requirements) could prevent. Furthermore, the health and safety of the pilots cannot be prejudiced for the commercial benefit of the operators.”

The pilots’ body comprises about 5,000 members, including pilots and other staff related to the aviation industry. The body also called out the aviation regulator’s decision to remove the cutoff date for changing the norms regarding consecutive night operations and termed it as ‘arbitrary’. It also sent copies of the letter to the DGCA chief and civil aviation secretary.

“The latest revision by the DGCA has made the revised CAR a dead letter of the law as it has effectively granted operators and discretionary power in implementing the revised CAR,” it added in the letter. 

As per the new rules, the weekly rest time for pilots will be increased to 48 hours and it will also place a limit on the number of landings to two during night operations. Further, the revised norms also call for a change in the night hours to include the duration from 00:00 to 06:00 hours, adding an hour from the earlier duration of 00:00 to 05:00 hours.

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