Extract from : CAR, SECTION 3 – AIR TRANSPORT, SERIES ‘F’ PART I, ISSUE II, 07TH DECEMBER, 2017
3. Application For The Tourist Charter Flights
3.1 The application for operating inbound ITP charter flights to India shall be submitted to the Director General of Civil Aviation (Attn: Director Air Transport) on the prescribed proforma (Appendix ‘A’) complete in all respects at least three working days prior to the proposed date of operation of the first flight. However, for the flights originating from PRC (Prior Reference Countries), the application will have to be submitted seven working days in advance. The application may be filed by an Indian Tour Operator, or by a flight clearing agency enrolled with DGCA.
Note: In case of flights operating to Defence Airfields or to airports without Customs/Immigration facilities, it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to make adequate prior arrangements and to obtain prior permission from defence/customs/immigration authorities before submitting the application to DGCA. An undertaking to this effect shall be given along with the application.
3.2 More than one tour operators can also apply for the same tourist charter flight. In such a case, the application should clearly state the number of tourists booked by each tour operator on the flight and authorised signatory of each tour operator shall jointly sign the application.
3.3 An application submitted with incomplete information shall be summarily rejected. However, series of tourist charter flights (total duration not less than one month, with at least one flight per week) operated by charter operators approved by their DGCA/CAA for international passenger charter operations may be cleared without information relating to the registration of aircraft and name and nationality of pilot, provided the charter operator has more than one aircraft (capable of undertaking the said ITP operation) endorsed on its AOC and the aircraft is/are not capable of air dropping. The tour operator in such cases shall submit a complete list of the crew members not having valid visa and their itinerary 72 hours in advance to the FRRO/FRO concerned.
3.4 Application for operating outbound tourist charter flights from India shall be submitted three working days prior to the proposed date of operation of the first flight along with additional information on the prescribed proforma (Appendix ‘B’). In case any tour operator proposes to use an aircraft belonging to Indian scheduled airlines, the airline concerned shall have to submit an undertaking that there shall be no cancellation or delay to the scheduled flights operated by them.
4. Conditions for Operation of ITP Charter Flights
4.1 Foreign ITP Charter Flights to India (Inbound Tourist Charters)
i) The foreign ITP charter flights shall originate from any place outside India.
ii) All tourists carried on these flights should have booked the inclusive tour package in the originating countries.
iii) All arrangements in India for the tourists will be through Indian Tour Operators recognised by the Ministry of Tourism and the charges for arrangements will be paid in advance.
iv) Indian passport holders are also permitted to travel by ITP charter flights by availing the inclusive tour package.
v) ITP charter flights may be operated to any airport in India where customs and immigration facilities are available without any limitations on frequency of flights or size of the aircraft provided the airport is suitable for that type of aircraft.
vi) ITP charter flights can also be operated to other airports with prior arrangements made for provision of necessary facilities on either ad-hoc or seasonal basis by Customs and Immigration authorities at the request of the tour operator.
vii) Tourists flying on ITP charter flights can fly into India and out of India by using the services of two different charter operators; provided both the charter operators have been engaged by the same principal tour operator for this purpose.
viii) No individual Air Tickets other than ITP shall be sold by the tour operator (Indian/Foreign). However, the charter operators may carry one-way passengers not availing ‘Inclusive Tour Package’ on the return leg of the first flight into India and the incoming leg of the last flight out of India, subject to the condition that the charter operations are in a series of at least eight flights to any one metro airport (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad) or at least four flights to any one of the other airports in India.
ix) The Indian Tour Operator may send up to eight bonafide representatives on such charter flights in a season to finalise arrangements with the principals. Similarly, a maximum of eight bonafide representatives of the principal tour operators of foreign countries may travel on such charter flights in a season to finalise arrangements with the Indian tour operators. Prior permission of DGCA shall be obtained in such cases by the Indian tour operator.
x) Tourists availing ITP charter flights would not be permitted to fly on inward or outward journeys using a scheduled airline. However, in case of any emergency, DGCA may permit tourists arriving on a charter flight to depart from India on scheduled flights. Request for such permission would be submitted by the concerned Indian tour operator.
xi) The point of arrival/departure of the ITP charter flight to/from India need not be the same. Further, an ITP charter flight may also transport the tourists brought into the country on domestic sectors within India as part of the package. However, the initial place of arrival into India and the final place of departure from India shall always be an airport where customs and immigration facilities are available, or have been arranged.
xii) The Indian tour operator shall ensure the following:
a) The charter operator is in possession of valid Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) or equivalent document issued by their DGCA as per ICAO requirements. A copy of the same shall be submitted along with the application.
b) The flight crew operating such flight(s) are familiar with the regulations, operating procedures, limitations, and restrictions in respect of airport, airspace and other facilities intended to be used, that may be in force at the time of operation of the flight(s) in India. An undertaking to this effect shall be furnished with the application.
c) Advance coordination with the agencies concerned like airport, customs and immigration authorities so that the services and facilities necessary for the operation of the flights are available at the concerned airports in India.
xiii) The ITP charter flights will not be permitted to be used for purposes other than carrying bona fide ITP tourists and carriage of cargo under ‘Open Sky Policy’ for which DGCA’s permission has been obtained.
xiv) The ITP charter flights shall operate only to the airport(s) in India as specified in the flight clearance issued by DGCA and in accordance with approved flight schedules. For any change, the operator shall obtain prior approval of DGCA.
xv) Handling of the ITP charter flights shall be done by an authorised Ground Handling Agency.
xvi) The tour operator shall furnish to DGCA in the first week of every month the number of the tourists brought by them on the ITP charter flights in the previous month.
xvii) All ITP charter flights shall operate on promulgated ATS routes for international operations.
xviii) All registered baggage and cargo carried on the ITP charter flights shall be subjected to mandatory checks as specified by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
xix) Any other condition considered necessary by DGCA shall be complied with.
4.2 ITP Charter Flights from India (Outbound Tourist Charters)
i) ITP charter flights may originate from any airport in India where customs/immigration facilities are available or have been arranged.
ii) All tourists carried on these flights should have booked their inclusive tour package in India.
iii) Only Tour operators recognised by the Ministry of Tourism and cleared by the Ministry of Home Affairs from security angle will be entitled to operate outbound ITP charters.
iv) All arrangements for the tourists shall be made by the Indian Tour Operator making application to DGCA and the charges for such arrangements shall be paid by him in advance to the concerned agencies.
v) The outbound ITP charter flights shall be operated only with an Indian registered aircraft; however there shall be no restriction on frequency of flight and size of the aircraft.
vi) The tour operator shall be responsible for making necessary payments towards navigational charges, landing fees and parking charges in respect of the charter flights to the concerned authorities abroad.
vii) The tour operator shall ensure the following:
a) The Indian aircraft operator operating the charter flights has a valid nonscheduled/ scheduled operator’s permit. A copy of the same shall be enclosed with the application.
b) The Operations Manual of the aircraft operator has Flight Duty Time Limitations and weather minima for international operations at destination and alternate airports.
c) The aircraft operator has obtained necessary authorisation for operation of the flights directly from the foreign aeronautical authorities concerned and would comply with their rules, regulations and procedures. For this purpose, DGCA India may give the operator necessary letter of comfort, if required.
d) The aircraft to be operated has a valid Certificate of Airworthiness and no major inspection falls due when the aircraft is abroad.
e) The aircraft is fitted with mandatory equipment/instruments stipulated by the regulatory authority of the destination country.
f) The flight crew is familiar with operations on international routes intended to be flown and has the required documents like Jeppesen Charts, route guides etc. for planning the flight. The flight crew is experienced and competent to operate the proposed foreign flights and is aware of the operating procedures of the destination airports.
g) The aircraft and the passengers are properly insured.
viii) The tour operator shall furnish to DGCA in the first week of every month the number of tourists carried on the ITP charter flights operated by him during the previous month.
ix) Any other condition considered necessary by DGCA shall be complied with.
5. Safeguards and Penalties
The following penalties shall be imposed in the event of violation of any provisions of this
5.1) All clearances given by DGCA for operation of charter flights by the Indian tour operator would stand cancelled.
5.2) Blacklisting of the tour operator (Indian and/or Foreign) and/ or the charter operator concerned leading to a ban on undertaking any future ITP Charter flights for a minimum period of six months and up to a maximum of two years.
5.3) The Indian Tour Operator shall be recommended for de-recognition by Ministry of Tourism.