India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) has agreed to eliminate a rule that requires Indian-registered business and charter aircraft flying abroad to obtain an authority number, also called a YA number, from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). “We have been assured the guideline will be issued soon,” RK Bali, the managing director of India’s Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA) told AIN.
BAOA met with MOCA on this subject earlier this month. Bali added that DGCA was obligated “as a signatory of ICAO to ensure and certify that an aircraft flying to the seven zones of the world has the capability to fly.” He called the YA number requirement “extraneous” and noted that no Western country requires it. It also amounted to recertification every time an Indian registered aircraft flew abroad, Bali said.
The withdrawal of the YA number, which often took approximately three days to be released, has been accepted by DGCA because all general aviation aircraft in the country have been certified following an ICAO safety audit of India in 2012 that found “significant safety concerns.” In 2013, an Indian-registered business jet was refused landing by Singapore, as it did not have air operator permit (AOP) documentation. In August of that year, DGCA banned nonscheduled AOP holders—including indigenous business jet operators—from flying to international destinations unless certification documents adhered to the international air operator certification manual.
“The unnecessary irritant put Indian charter operators at a disadvantage. Every rule has to be progressive. It is not required anymore as all business aircraft are certified now according to global standards,” said Bali. “It will expedite ease of doing business and also benefit short-staffed DGCA and help them make optimal use of their human resources.”
According to BAOA president Rohit Kapur, “Doing away with the YA number will ensure that Indian business aircraft operators can fly overseas without delay and will help maintain the essence of business aviation."
BAOA is currently in discussions with MOCA on the extended diversion time operation for twin-engine aircraft that was increased from 60 to 90 minutes to a further 120. “MOCA has shown transparency and interest in moving the general aviation industry. We expect to resolve many issues within a year,” said Bali.