To make it easier for overseas aircraft lessors, the government has proposed setting a deadline of five working days for giving permission to fly back de-registered aircraft to their respective jurisdictions.
The proposal is part of the government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country’s fast growing aviation sector, which has been seeing over 20 per cent growth in the last nearly two years.
Lessors have faced problems in taking back aircraft leased to Indian carriers in the past, especially with regard to shuttered Kingfisher Airlines. Recently, regional carrier Air Pegasus’ three planes were de-registered by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The Civil Aviation Ministry has proposed amendments to the Aircraft Act, 1937, in order to make it more easier for aircraft lessors to carry out their business in the country.
Upon cancellation of registration of an aircraft, the application of the lessor concerned to export the plane should be cleared within five working days, as per the draft amendments.
“Consequent upon cancellation of registration of an aircraft… if an application is made by IDERA Holder for export of the same aircraft, take action within five working days to facilitate the export and physical transfer of the aircraft, along with spare engine,” the Ministry has proposed.
The clearance would also be subject to compliance with applicable safety rules and regulations relating to that aircraft operation.
In simple terms, IDERA or Irrevocable De-registration and Export Request Authorisation, refers to request for de-registering as well as taking back of a leased plane.
Recently, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey had said that the Ministry was working to amend rules to make sure lessors can take back aircraft in case of default in line with Cape Town Convention.
The Convention provides the protocol to be followed with regard to leasing of aircraft equipment, including the aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Ministry is exploring the possibility of allowing foreign aircraft without Indian registration to operate in India.
Presently, Indian operators planning to fly foreign aircraft in the country have to first get them registered with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and have the national mark ‘VT’ or ‘Viceroy Territory’ on the plane.