Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday handed over the first licence issued by the aviation regulator DGCA to Air Traffic Control (ATC) personnel in the country. Till date, the licence to ATC personnel was being given by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) itself.
After an audit of Indian aviation sector was conducted by safety branch of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in November 2017, it had recommended that the DGCA should maintain oversight over the functions of ATC and its personnel, who work for AAI.
Therefore, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had directed the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to start issuing licences and rating to ATC personnel of AAI. Till December 27 this year, total 2,264 ATC personnel across the country got their licences issued by the DGCA, according to an AAI press release.
In a symbolic ceremony on Monday evening, Civil Aviation Minister Puri handed over licences to two ATC personnel - Malkeet Singh and Payal Yadav - in the presence of DGCA chief Arun Kumar, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola and other senior officials.
Malkeet Singh is the first ATP personnel to get a DGCA-issued licence. Around 2,400 ATC personnel had applied for licences since the DGCA had started the process after 2017 ICAO recommendation.
"This is a defining moment in the history of Civil Aviation in India as this is the first time that the air traffic controllers are being granted licences by the DGCA under Aircraft Rules, 1937," said the press release by AAI.
To enable licensing of air traffic controllers, the DGCA has approved the AAI's Air Traffic Services Training Organisations located at Prayagraj, Hyderabad and Gondia to conduct approved training courses for ATC personnel.
"Once the licences are issued to the ATC personnel, DGCA will perform the oversight on the functioning of air traffic controllers," the press release said.
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