News Related to our Business
Tatas aim to build aircraft for Ruag Aviation

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 08:38:00 +0000

Published in The Hindu, Hyderabad, 23 Jun 2014


The Tata Group on Monday said it aims to bring out a fully built aircraft for Ruag Aviation — makers of Dornier 228 new generation aircraft, parts of which are to be made in India by TASL.
Tata Advanced Systems Ltd held ground breaking ceremony in Hyderabad for manufacturing Dornier 228 fuselage and wings.
The Tata-Ruag partnership is a glowing example of cooperation between India and Europe, TASL Chairman S. Ramadorai said.
“It is our belief that this project is a significant step forward in India’s growth as a high technology, precision, manufacturing destination. Ruag has entrusted the Tatas to deliver its showcase product, the Dornier 228, at world-class standards of precision and quality,” he said.
“Our vision is to work with Ruag in having a full aircraft, equipped with systems flying out from a Tata final assembly. This will be of significant importance to the Indian Armed forces in their desire to produce products locally,” he said at the function.
Within five years, TASL has become a significant player in the Global Aerospace market by delivering successfully over 70 Sikorsky S-92 cabins, and delivered Empennage and Center Wing Box for the C-130 J aircraft through its separate JV with Lockheed Martin, Mr. Ramadorai said.
It has also made Hyderabad a premier manufacturing destination for Global OEMs, he added.
The Ruag project is the fourth Aero structures unit to be set up by TASL since 2009 in Hyderabad and the products of all the units are 100 per cent exported.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, chief guest of the function, said the government will soon announce new industrial policy and consultations with stakeholders are underway.
“The goal is to make the Made in Telangana label as a globally recognised brand for its quality and innovativeness,” Mr. Rao said.
The city — hosts many research and development bodies such as DRDO, DRDL, Midhani and BDL — is ideal for setting up aerospace industries, he said.





Bangalore airport grants indirect sops to AirAsia India

Fri, 20 Jun 2014 08:53:00 +0000



New Delhi: Bangalore airport has decided to offer sops to new airlines in a move being seen as a way of benefiting budget airline AirAsia India Pvt. Ltd, which launched operations this month with a flight to Goa from Bangalore. 

Bangalore International Airport Ltd, which runs the airport, has crafted a new definition for what will be called a home carrier for the airport and got it cleared by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (Aera) on 10 June. 

The airport has defined home carriers as those that declare Bangalore as their home base and station half their fleet in the city. The airlines will have to be headquartered in Bangalore, have the highest number of base aircraft (planes parked in the night) at the airport and have at least 1 million additional passengers annually. 

Given that AirAsia has stationed its first aircraft, an Airbus A320, at Bangalore airport and may do so with the next aircraft too and possibly shift its operations to the city from Chennai, it may meet the requirements specified by the airport operator. 

A home carrier will get a 50% discount on landing and housing charges and fees will be waived for night parking. Bangalore airport declined to comment for this story. 

The move may face resistance from the rivals of AirAsia, a joint venture between AirAsia Bhd, Tata Sons Ltd and Telestra Tradeplace Pvt. Ltd. No other airline cleared by the aviation ministry fits the tag of home carrier. “There will be opposition,” said a senior private airline official. “Everyone will not keep quiet. They will talk of pulling out or neglecting Bangalore airport.” 

Major airlines including Air India, with a 120 aircraft fleet, Jet Airways with 112 aircraft, IndiGo with 78 and SpiceJet with 52 aircraft cannot station half their aircraft at Bangalore to qualify for the status. Also, the airport wouldn’t be able to handle such a large number of aircraft. Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet declined to comment. Aera also didn’t comment. 

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed Aera was justified in clearing the Bangalore airport operator’s move. The move had been approved because it was the first time any airport operator had come up with such a proposal anyway. Every sop given to any airline has to be cleared in the tariff card, which has to be Aera-approved. Secondly, it is not as if it’s being done exclusively for AirAsia India; other airlines that meet the criteria can also take advantage of the incentives, this official said. “If they don’t like it they can go to airport tribunal or knock at the doors of the CCI,” the government official said, referring to the Competition Commission of India. This official said it was logical that airport operators will offer sops to new airlines and not to old ones if it wants to attract more passengers. “Those Indian airlines which are themselves opposing new competition should be the last ones to complain about these sops,” the government official said. Aera has also added to the burden of passengers using Bangalore airport, which has been allowed to charge Rs.342, up from Rs.260, in user development fee from domestic travellers and Rs.1,368, up from Rs.1,070, from international travellers starting on 1 July, Mint reported on 14 June. 

An analyst said providing incentives and rebates to attract airlines was a practice followed by all airports. Bangalore airport’s “offer to ensure AirAsia shifts base is cleverly done but on expected lines,” said Kapil Kaul, South Asia CEO of the consulting firm Capa. “I expect other airlines to seek more rebates from Bangalore airport.”





Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju takes charge as Civil Aviation Minister

Thu, 29 May 2014 09:07:00 +0000

Economic Times Link
PTI May 29, 2014, 12.02PM IST

NEW DELHI: Senior TDP leader Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju took charge as the new Civil Aviation Minister, assuring that he would strive to create a level- playing field for all players in the crucial infrastructure sector.
"We will strive to create a level-playing field for all the players and make the aviation sector more people- oriented," he told reporters soon after the taking over charge at the ministry headquarters in Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan here.




Rajasthan to operate State planes for air taxi service

Tue, 27 May 2014 06:02:00 +0000


Five-seater King Air C90 A and seven-seater King Air B 200 to be deployed for the purpose

The Rajasthan government is all set to introduce an air taxi service linking major tourist destinations and commercial hubs in the State.

“The proposal has been given approval by the Chief Minister and we are almost ready to operate our two State planes for the air taxi services,” Kishan Singh Verma, Director, Civil Aviation, Rajasthan government told PTI.

The government will deploy five-seater King Air C90 A and seven-seater King Air B 200 for the taxi service. The planes are used for the movement of the Governor, Chief Minister and other VIPs visiting the State.

For the five-seater plane, the fair would be Rs.50,000 per hour while Rs.70,000 per hour would be charged for flying in the seven-seater aircraft. Besides, charges for night hold, extension of ATC watch hour, (ground) handling will also be applicable.

Minimum of two hours are required for the booking.

The service will help tourist cut short their travel time by flying to various destinations including Jaisalmer, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Ranthambore, Chittorgarh, Bikaner and Udaipur.

“The idea is to boost tourism prospects as well as making a unique facility available in the State.
The service would also generate revenue for the government. We are hopeful that it will receive a good response,” he said. - PTI




DGCA grounds 3 flights for safety-norm violations

Sat, 29 Mar 2014 05:49:00 +0000

NEW DELHI, March 28, 2014, DHNS:


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday refused to allow a private chartered flight to take off from Delhi and two others in Mumbai for violating safety norms.

In Delhi, a Hawker 800 XP of SRC Aviation, which was to fly to Colombo, was not allowed to take off for several hours as DGCA officials found several safety violations, like absence of life jackets or minimum equipment list, during a search.

In Mumbai, officials held up two flights—one of L&T and the other of Poonawalla Aviation company—on the same grounds, said sources.


The tough action comes at a time when more and more private choppers and small aircraft are being used by political leaders across the country for poll campaigning. A week ago, the DGCA grounded a Reliance Industries-owned 14-seater Falcon 900EX and suspended its pilot for violating safety norms. While the aircraft was released after the deficiencies were rectified, sources said the Reliance pilot has now been dismissed.

The regulator, which had also issued show-cause notices to SpiceJet on safety violations after its flight crew danced on board a flight to celebrate Holi, has also received a letter from the no-frills carrier saying it would not repeat such activities without the DGCA's permission.

The DGCA has also decided to enhance the period of pilots' licence renewal from two to five years, subject to the airlines and the cockpit crew meeting all requirements. The decision was taken at a meeting between the aviation regulator's top-brass and senior officials from all Indian carriers.

The decision to enhance the period was being taken only under the condition that the onus of carrying out all other checks and tests would lie on the airlines and their pilots. Such a move would also lessen the burden on the DGCA, which is facing a staff crunch, said officials. 





Could missing jet be in AUSTRALIA? Search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 extends to more than 15 countries

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 05:45:00 +0000

Mail Online Link


  • Chief of Australia's Defence Force re-deploys two search planes 
  • Australia among more than 15 countries where plane could be found
  • Search will move to the north and west of Cocos Islands
Australia has extended its search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 to include parts of the Indian Ocean.
Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says Australia is among more than 15 countries considered to be possible locations for MH370, which has been missing since March 8, The Age reports.
Other countries in the search include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and France.
It could be anywhere: Malaysian authorities have called on Australia to broaden its search in the Indian Ocean
It could be anywhere: Malaysian authorities have called on Australia to broaden its search in the Indian Ocean
Chief of the Australian Defence Force, General David Hurley, has re-deployed two planes in the search for MH370
Chief of the Australian Defence Force, General David Hurley, has re-deployed two planes in the search for MH370
'Malaysian officials are requesting assistance from these countries,' Mr Hishammuddin said.
'Officials are also asking countries to provide further assistance in the search for the aircraft including satellite data and analysis, ground search capabilities, radar data and maritime and air assets.'
The Boeing 777 was last picked up on satellite at 8.11am on March 8. Authorities are considering hijacking and piracy as possible reasons behind the plane's disappearance.
Chief of the Australian Defence Force, General David Hurley, confirmed Australia had been asked to help broaden the search area off the country's north-west coast.
'One RAAF AP-3C Orion commenced searching the Indian Ocean to the north and west of the Cocos Islands,' he said last night.
'This aircraft is expected to recover to the Cocos Islands overnight and launch from that location on Monday to maximise mission time in the expanded search area.'
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed on Monday afternoon that Australia would lead the extensive Indian Ocean search, after speaking with Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak.

'I agreed that we would do so,' Mr Abbott told Parliament.

'I offered the Malaysian Prime Minister additional maritime surveillance resources which he gratefully accepted.

'I wish to assure the House and the Australian people that Australia will do its duty in this matter.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2582373/Australia-searches-Indian-Ocean-missing-Malaysian-Airlines-flight-MH370.html#ixzz32tMl6cJV
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MALAYSIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT MH370 MISSING

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 05:40:00 +0000

Tragic news coming from Malaysia of missing Malaysian Airlines B777 with 227 passengers and 12 Crew enroute from Kuala Lumpur to China.

Our Prayers are with the families of the Pax and Crew.




‘India biggest market for biz jets in Asia Pacific’

Sat, 01 Mar 2014 04:50:00 +0000

The Hindu, Special Correspondent, February 28, 2014 12:26 IST 


India has emerged as the biggest fleet owner of business aircraft in the Asia Pacific surpassing China with business houses and high net worth individuals (HNIs) acquiring aircraft.

Even during the economic slowdown period of 2008- 12, Indian businessmen purchased 38 per cent more aircraft than the previous five years as per estimates by Beechcraft Corporation.

According to Beechcraft, a leading manufacturer of business aircraft, India has a fleet of 254 business aircraft as compared to 213 in China, 192 in Japan, 150 in Hong Kong, 66 in Malaysia, and 53 in Thailand, making it the biggest fleet owner in Asia Pacific with 15 per cent market share.

As per latest data from Beechcraft, 65 business aircraft were delivered in India between 2008 and 2012, up from 47 in the previous five years. This was compared to 119 delivered in China, 19 in Japan, 47 in Hong Kong and 10 in South Korea.

Quoting Knight Frank Wealth Report 2013, Beechcraft said the number of wealthy businessmen (HNIs) in India would double from 8,481 in 2012 to 17,032 in 2022. During the same period, the number of HNIs in China will grow 137 per cent from 10,849 to 25,660.

“Our survey of senior executives from around the world, and fund managers based in London, revealed that 96 per cent of global professional investors and senior business executives forecast growth for the Indian economy over the next five years and 41 per cent of respondents stated that this growth would be ‘significant’. About 53 per cent believe that the business aviation sector in India will grow significantly over the coming decade,” Beechcraft said. Considering this, Beechcraft has identified India as one of the most attractive markets in the world for business aviation and has committed significant investments.

“The country continues to be an exciting market for us. With significant growth in deliveries over the past decade, the country continues to show huge potential for future growth. This is why we have decided to make a significant investment in increasing our presence in India,” said Richard Emery, President, APAC and EMEA, Beechcraft, at a press conference in Mumbai.




DGCA grounds United Airlines’ plane at Mumbai airport

Sat, 22 Feb 2014 05:00:00 +0000


PTI

New Delhi: A Boeing 777 aircraft of American carrier United Airlines was grounded at Mumbai airport last night after engineers found that its right engine cover was badly damaged, official sources said today. The aircraft, operating flight UA-48 from Newark to Mumbai, arrived around 2200 hours yesterday and the engineers found the right-side engine cowl badly damaged, the sources said
.

Cowl is the cover of an aircraft engine. DGCA officials, who inspected the aircraft thereafter, grounded the plane, terming the damage as "major", the sources said, adding it was being suspected that the damage may have been caused during take-off. The damage to the aircraft was found after the passengers had disembarked and the plane was being readied for the return flight, they said.

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/dgca-grounds-united-airlines-plane-at-mumbai-airport-1402623.html?utm_source=ref_article




US FAA downgrades DGCA over aviation safety fears

Sat, 01 Feb 2014 04:47:00 +0000

,TNN | Jan 31, 2014, 01.34 PM IST


NEW DELHI: Exposing the gross inadequacy of our aviation regulator to ensure safe air travel here, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has downgraded India's aviation safety ranking. 

India has now been put in category II of safety ranking, from category 1 that directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) was in earlier. 

The decision was conveyed to DGCA's new chief Prabhat Kumar by an FAA delegation on Friday. The downgrade means that Indian carriers will now not be able to add flights to US. Also aircraft of Indian airlines that fly there — Air India and Jet Airways — can be be held indefinitely for checks there, which will make it difficult for them to adhere to schedule. 

The first to be hit could be Air India which is supposed to join Star Alliance this summer. A number of US carriers are also part of this alliance but American laws prohibit them from entering into commercial relations like code share — a vital part of an alliance. So now if they will be able to do so with AI or not remains to be seen. Jet already has a code share with United. 

India had for years been trying to evade a downgrade by US FAA due to the serious implications of such a move on Indian carriers by making tall claims on strengthening DGCA. But all that was mainly on paper and in reality the government has struggled to find someone to even head the regulatory agency. 

After a recent audit last year, FAA found 33 inadequacies in the DGCA. 

Like in the past, the government this time also tried to get away by making tall claims but the FAA did not buy the same now. 

"This is a true reflection of the DGCA. Unlike the past when India and US ties wee very good and hence DGCA avoided a downgrade, the relations are not so strong now and hence the move. This will have very serious implications for Indian airlines," said a source. 

The current category II ranking of India means that DGCA does not meet the norms of International Civil Aviation Organization standards in areas like technical expertise, trained personnel and record-keeping or inspection procedures. 

Aviation minister Ajit Singh will brief the media on Friday afternoon on the issue.




AEROTECH FMS MOVES TO A NEW OFFICE

Sat, 11 Jan 2014 11:38:00 +0000



Kindly Update the new Address:

Aerotech FMS Pvt. Ltd.
TF-10C, Vasant Square Mall,
Vasant Kunj,
New Delhi-110070
Tel. +91-11-46000533
Fax +91-11-46000522 / +91-9717769944





AEROTECH FMS MOVES TO A NEW OFFICE

Sat, 11 Jan 2014 11:37:00 +0000


Kindly Update the new Address:

Aerotech FMS Pvt. Ltd.
TF-10C, Vasant Square Mall,
Vasant Kunj,
New Delhi-110070
Tel. +91-11-46000533
Fax +91-11-46000522 / +91-9717769944





Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines carrier plans to launch operations by June next year

Sun, 27 Oct 2013 22:25:00 +0000


ET Bureau Oct 26, 2013, 01.09AM IST
MUMBAI: The Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines carrier which got a nod from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board on Thursday aims to launch operations by May-June 2014, its chairman said on Friday. Also, Tata Group's chairman emeritus Ratan Tata said the company will look at Air India, if the government decides to put it up for privatisation. "We hope we will be able to launch by May-June 2014," said Prasad Menon, chairman of the airline venture.
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-10-26/news/43415763_1_singapore-airlines-aviation-minister-ajit-singh-tata-sons-singapore





Chief Electoral Officer meets airport authorities

Wed, 16 Oct 2013 01:43:00 +0000

The Hindu
NEW DELHI, October 15, 2013
Staff Reporter


Flying into the Capital with more than Rs.10 lakh in cash and over a kilogram gold can lead to scrutiny by the Election Commission. With the model code of conduct in full force in the city, the Chief Electoral Officer met with various airport authorities on Monday, including the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Bureau of Civil Aviation, CISF and Delhi Police, to look into suspicious transactions through the air route. “Basically, the meeting was to ensure that all directions laid down by the Election Commission of India are adhered to and there is no flow of arms and ammunitions, contraband substances, more than Rs.10 lakh in cash or over one kg of gold into the city,” said Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev.

Info. on flights
“We have also requested regular information on chartered flights taken by politicians through which money and other goods may be brought through and have asked for flight plans,” he added. Similarly, the CISF have been given strict instructions to scrutinise packages.
The airport authorities and security agencies have been asked to seize and confiscate any suspicious item and immediately intimate the Electoral Office. “They have been told not to release information on anything seized without intimating us,” said Mr. Dev.
The CEO has also roped in the Income Tax Department and the Excise Department to keep a vigil at the airport.




DGCA probe after panel falls off Air India Dreamliner mid-air

Wed, 16 Oct 2013 01:39:00 +0000

The Hindu
NEW DELHI, October 15, 2013 PTI


A large panel in the belly of a Bangalore-bound Dreamliner of Air India fell off mid-air, putting about 150 passengers on board at a grave risk, but the aircraft landed safely.
The DGCA is probing the incident which occurred on Saturday when an 8X4 feet panel in the fuselage fell off while the plane was on its way to Bangalore from Delhi, leaving a gaping hole in the cargo hold, official sources said.
There were 148 persons, including the crew, on board flight AI-803 which landed safely at the Bangalore airport, the sources said, adding that the hole was noticed by the ground staff when they came to inspect the aircraft for its return journey.
A spare panel was flown to Bangalore and fitted on the Boeing 787, which was later declared fit to fly. But the return flight was delayed by over nine hours, they said.
Confirming the incident, airline officials said a panel had fallen off but was replaced and the aircraft was cleared for flights.
“Yes, there was a gaping hole. During the normal transit inspection, it was observed. Engineers immediately rectified it,” an AI official said requesting anonymity.
“It was not an emergency. There was no safety problem,” he added.
Besides long-haul international operations, Air India operates the Dreamliners on domestic routes like from Delhi to Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata.
The incident came in the wake of a series of problems faced by the new aircraft, starting with the battery fire incident that grounded all Dreamliners across the world for four months. In July again, a fire broke out in an empty aircraft that was parked at Heathrow.





Maharaja loses flab, AI to have just 5,000 employees

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 10:43:00 +0000

Mumbai Mirror
By Bipin Kumar Singh, Mumbai Mirror | Oct 14, 2013, 10.20 AM IST


Air India, the state-owned lumbering, loss-making behemoth with 26,000 staff, is to be transformed into a slender company of just 5,000 employees in just a few months' time, following a business restructuring exercise that is vigorously under way to turn the airline around.

The urgency on the part of the civil aviation ministry to revamp the airline into a lean and mean flying outfit is evident from its already having selected CEOs for the two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Air India that will absorb the rest of the staff. 

The two subsidiaries are Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL) and Air India Engineering Services limited (AIESL). Formed in 2004 and 2005, respectively, they were mothballed away for various reasons, but are now going to be immediately operationalised. 

The first will be responsible for ground handling and will accommodate 12,000 of Air India's staff including airport, ramp-side and cargo workers; the second will function as a maintenance repair and overall (MRO) unit and absorb 9,000 engineers, mechanics and technicians from Air India. 

Sources said Air India, which will be left with just 5000 employees consisting of pilots, in-flight service crew, headquarter officials, and commercial (booking) staff, will exclusively focus on passenger growth. Fleet care and passenger acquisition and management will be Air India's baby. 

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh confirmed the current development and said it was part of Air India's turnaround plan. "The interviews are already over. With few formalities left, these companies will be operational soon," Singh told Mirror. 

He also confirmed that these two companies will have to sculpt their own business fortunes. The ministry is ambitious for all three companies - Air India (whose net loss was over Rs. 5000 crore in 2012-2013), AIATSL and AIESL - to be profit-making entities in their own right. 

While the ministry is hopeful that Air India will slowly move back into the black with its new-found agility, the two subsidiaries will not only handle Air India work but must also create business opportunities for themselves by seeking assignments from other clients (read other airlines). 

"As the interviews for the post of CEOs are over, these two subsidiaries are all set to function as separate profit entities in the coming months," said a civil aviation ministry official. Officials also said future recruitments at Air India will be done on a contractual basis to improve work efficiency as well as to ensure that taxpayers' money is not wasted. "Air India lacks a work culture and is overstaffed as well. With these two subsidiaries the work culture will improve, as hiring will be done on contract," a civil aviation ministry official said. 

Cabinet approval for operationalising the two subsidiaries was obtained last year but the plan could not be pursued as Air India was making colossal losses (more than Rs. 7000 crore in 2011-2012). It was only when Air India managed to reduce its debt burden by a little that the plan was re-examined. The Justice Dharmadhikari Committee, which was appointed to study the wage-related issues of Air India, had also suggested the operationalising of the two subsidiaries. 

The CEO interviews for AIATSL and AIESL were conducted under the chairmanship of K N Srivastava who is also the civil aviation secretary. The ministry's hope is that Air India will now have a structure comparable with that of its more nimble-footed competitors. 

The newer airlines do not have the baggage of staff for ground handling and maintenance, which they have completely outsourced. The total number of employees in the aviation sector is 60,000, Air India alone accounting for 26,000. Airlines such as Indigo and Spicejet have roughly 5,000 employees each. 

Air India can also now concentrate on improving its international operations, said officials. Despite owning the biggest fleet in the country, of over 100 aircraft, Air India's presence in the international market is currently insignificant.




CBI probes ‘free ticket’ scam in DGCA

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 10:40:00 +0000

Times of India
, TNN | Oct 14, 2013, 01.59 AM IST


MUMBAI: In the largest investigation ever against the Indian civil aviation regulator, more than 200 DGCA officials are being questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation in Delhi for misuse of free air tickets. 

The preliminary enquiry (PE) was initiated by the CBI's anti-corruption bureau to look for cases of misuse of an aviation norm under which free airline tickets have to be issued by airlines and aviation companies to officials of theDirectorate General of Civil Aviation when they need to travel to carry out certain air safety inspections. "The norm has been widely misused over years. Not only have some officials asked airlines to issue them free tickets for their personal travel, but also sought tickets for their spouses and personal assistants,'' said the source. "As DGCA officials hold an influential position in the Indian aviation industry, it is evident that airlines and aviation companies would never turn down a demand for free tickets from them,'' said an airline source. 

CBI spokesperson confirmed that a PE is being carried out against DGCA officials for misuse of the said norm. "Upon the Central Vigilance Commission's reference, we will be examining the official travel receipts and free tickets availed by DGCA officers from 2010 to 2012,'' the spokesperson said. Based on the findings, either an FIR will be filed against the officials concerned or the case closed. The director-general of civil aviation, Arun Mishra, was not available for comment. 

The investigations began last Tuesday and are expected to continue in the coming weeks as DGCA officials and other aviation personnel who work for the regulator have been called in from across the country. 

The norm whose misuse is being investigated (called the Aeronautical Information Circular, AIC 02/1978) states that every operator or owner of an aircraft registered in India shall make available, free of charge, a seat on the aircraft to an officer of the civil aviation department authorized by the director general to undertake certain job functions. These include en route examination and inspection of the work of flight crew members, inspection of aircraft maintenance facilities en route or at terminal stations, inspection of the operations of an aircraft or of its equipment and such other examination as may be necessary for the purpose of securing safety of aircraft operations. 

What it means is that when a DGCA official needs to do undertake these inspections pertaining to safety and has to travel in the cockpit of an aircraft or to a facility to inspect maintenance infrastructure, he/she should be provided with a free seat by the airline/party concerned. The said norm was replaced with an amended version in 2012. While in the earlier norm only the director-general could authorize such a travel, the one issued in 2012 gave that right to other officers as well. "It was probably done in hindsight after the CVC started looking into the issue of free tickets misuse,'' said a source. Then again, several officials availed of free tickets to travel for work that had nothing to do with safety and so did not meet the criteria listed in the AIC, the source said.




Air Costa, India's newest airline, takes flight today

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 10:36:00 +0000

Business Today
K.R. Balasubramanyam    Bangalore   Last Updated: October 14, 2013  | 00:00 IST


Just when the airline sector is staring at runaway operational expenses worsened by a weak rupee, a little-known business group from the Andhra Pradesh town of Vijayawada has entered the money-guzzling business. 

Its regional airline - Air Costa, first to be set up under the government of India's regional airline policy in South India - takes to air with two Embraer jets on Monday.

The airline will be headquartered at Vijayawada, and have Chennai as its maintenance centre.

This start-up comes seven years after the launch of Paramount Airways, which too flew Embraer jets. Air Costa has plans to invest about Rs 610 crore over the next two years. The airline has taken delivery of two E-170 jets and, will add two more E-190 jets in November. In all, Air Costa plans to have 10 E-190 jets by end of 2014, and take the total fleet size to 25 by 2018 in phases.

"We are adopting an operational strategy wherein we would be focussing mostly on under-served andlesser-competitive routes," Air Costa Chairman Lingamaneni Ramesh said ahead of the launch.

Air Costa will have unconventional city-pairs connecting tier-II and tier-III cities, looking at routes not served by the established carriers. The start-up will operate services to Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur and Ahmedabad and later to Visakhapatnam, Goa, Madurai, Thriuvananthapuram and Mysore.

Two Embraer jets have already arrived from the ECC Leasing Company, and the third one is expected from the GECAS soon.

The privately-held Lingamaneni group, founded in 1983 by the first generation entrepreneur L.P. Bhaskar Rao, has tasted success in real estate and construction business. The group has completed many real estate projects in Vijayawada, and is currently building a satellite township project in an area of 32 million square feet with an investment of close to a billion dollars, according to media reports. The group's website says it also has a presence in renewable energy, health care, education and hospitality.




Soon, visa on arrival for 40 more nations, senior tourists

Tue, 08 Oct 2013 10:18:00 +0000

Times of India
Himanshi Dhawan & Mahendra Singh, TNN Oct 8, 2013, 01.38AM IST
NEW DELHI: India is set to roll out the red carpet for foreign tourists. The government on Monday cleared a slew of measures including extending visa on arrival (VoA) to 40 countries, establishing an online application system for visas and facilitating visa on arrival for pensioners and those attending conferences.


The decision means foreign tourists will be able to apply for an Indian visa from the comfort of their homes while citizens from 40 countries including the US, the UK, Germany, France, Brazil, Russia and China among others will avail visa on arrival when they land on Indian shores. The government has also agreed to extend visa on arrival to foreign travelers above 60 years of age from all countries and cut down the time taken to give visas to groups that are keen to attend conventions.
"There has to be a change in mindset towards the way we treat foreign tourists. All representatives of government agreed on extending visa on arrival to 40 countries and initiating an online system as soon as possible," planning minister Rajeev Shukla said.
The ministries of tourism and home affairs have been tasked with preparing a roadmap since initiating the visa on arrival scheme will require a large amount of infrastructure and manpower. So far, citizens of around 11 countries including Japan, New Zealand and Vietnamcan avail visa on arrival.
The government is closely reviewing the online application systems adopted by Sri Lanka where only electronic visas are issued for tourists on short visits.
A consensus was reached on these issues during a high level meeting convened here on Monday by the Planning Commission.
"We want to develop a world class visa regime. I am going to write to the home minister with the outcomes of the meeting aimed at liberalizing the visa regime," Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told TOI.
The meeting included the national security advisor, Ahluwalia, representatives from the PMO,Intelligence Bureau, and ministries of external affairs, home and tourism.
"There was broad consensus on simplifying online visa system, relaxing visa regime for all types of conferences and senior citizen foreign tourist or foreign pensioners," Shukla said.
According to the minister, there are many senior citizens, including pensioners, who want to visit India. The government has decided to relax visa norms for a group of four such foreign tourists. But that decision has not been implemented so far. The home ministry was of the view that visa on arrival could be expanded to include more countries, but there is shortage of staff.
"Tourism ministry was willing to share its budget with the home ministry so that more officers can be posted on immigration counters that could facilitate visa on arrival," Ahluwalia said.
Another suggestion was to bring down the number of categories of visas from the existing 16 to just three -- employment, business and visitor.




Instructions relating to grant of Visa to crew of non-scheduled airlines and chartered flights and issue of Temporary Landing Permits (TLPs)

Fri, 06 Sep 2013 10:28:00 +0000

MHA issued fresh intructions on its Website for grant of TLP to the crew.

http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/TLP_050913.pdf






TOURIST VISA-ON-ARRIVAL FACILITY

Fri, 16 Aug 2013 09:42:00 +0000

NEWS FROM MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS WEBSITE


Tourist Visa-on-Arrival facility was earlier available at 04 International airports viz Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. to nationals of 11 countries viz. New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Finland, Luxem Bourg,  Phillippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Myanmar.  It has now been decided to extend the
facility of Tourist Visa-on-Arrival at four additional airports viz. Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyderabad & Kochi. w.e.f 15.08.2013.  The grant of a Tourist Visa-onArrival shall be regulated as per the guidelines prescribed in Chapter 3.10 of the Visa Manual. These instructions shall come into force with effect from 15.08.2013.




SEYCHELLES: Air Force takes delivery of first Do-228 Patrol aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics.

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 09:51:00 +0000

AEROTECH FMS PROUD TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH DELIVERING OF FIRST DORNIER 228 TO SEYCHELLES
http://www.theafricanaviationtribune.com/2013/04/seychelles-air-force-takes-delivery-of.html

The African Aviation Tribune, April 28, 2013


The Seychelles Air Force has taken delivery of a Dornier 228 patrol aircraft following a donation from the government of India as agreed to under an agreement signed between the two nations in 2011 in which India would provide a once-off grant of USD28.79 million for the supply of the maritime aircraft.  A further aircraft is due in 2014.


The SAF Do228 in Bangalore (FGWalt)
The Seychelles Air Force (SAF) Commander, Major Michael Pouponneau, has said the Dornier's arrival is a major boost to the Indian Ocean island's maritime patrol and anti-piracy drive as the aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, loud-hailers, radar equipment and night-vision cameras.

As part of the deal, four Seychellois pilots have already been to Hindustan Aeronautics' main headquarters in Kanpur, where the Dornier are made under licence, for flight crew training.

The Seychelles Nation says that since February 2011, the Indian government has helped Seychelles with the use of a similar aircraft, based in Seychelles, along with a 30-man Indian Navy detachment, to help patrol the Seychelles’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for anti-piracy efforts at the request of President James Michel.




AI hit by new crisis as ICPA serves notice

Tue, 18 Sep 2012 09:24:00 +0000

The Hindu : NEW DELHI, September 18, 2012
SUJAY MEHDUDIA

Great injustice to pilots if AI alters FDTL without consulting us: ICPA
The Air India management and the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), part of the erstwhile Indian, are headed for a confrontation as the latter served a legal notice on the former for changing the flying duty hours in an “arbitrary” manner.

This comes after a 58-day strike by the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) about two months ago which impacted the international operations of Air India.

In the notice, the ICPA pointed out that Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) was an integral part of the service conditions as it clearly states the number of hours a pilot is supposed to fly in a fixed time period.
The notice states that starting with the settlement entered in 1993, the terms of the FDTL applicable to the ICPA have been revised regularly; first in 2001 and again in 2006.

“The agreements were further continued by virtue of the documents of the merger of 2007, most particularly the scheme of amalgamation, which provided that the pilots would not be subject to conditions less favourable to those existing at that point of time. Pilots came across news reports that the company is to unilaterally alter the FDTL without in any way consulting the ICPA. We believe that great injustice is being meted out to them by way of the proposed action. All the settlements are within the knowledge of both the company and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and, therefore, no unilateral alternation is permissible,” the notice states.

Pilots were not aware of the norms and regulations of the new scheme. Under these circumstances, any inadvertent violation on the part of pilots of the applicable norms and regulations is entirely at the risk and expense of the management, the statement says.

The notice comes after Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh asked the airline to strictly implement the FDTL and flying time limitations as per DGCA guidelines.

Aviation Ministry study

A recent study by the Ministry found that Air India pilots were flying just six-and-half hours a day against the laid down norm of nine hours.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article3909041.ece#.UFg9xNbAM1c.blogger






The Hindu : News / International : Kabul suicide bomber kills at least 9 in revenge for anti-Islam film

Tue, 18 Sep 2012 09:21:00 +0000

The Hindu : News / International : Kabul suicide bomber kills at least 9 in revenge for anti-Islam film




The Hindu : Business / Industry : Oil firms cut jet fuel price by Rs. 622 per kl

Sun, 01 Jan 2012 07:48:00 +0000