|AWIN First Oct 22 , 2010|
| India’s 53 airports that do not have a license have been informed they cannot operate scheduled air transport services after June 30 unless licensed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). |
Of the 87 airports in India, 11 international and 12 domestic airports have been licensed. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has also taken up the issue with the Ministry of Defense for 22 defense airports where civil operations take place.
The licensing process that began in 2004 has been delayed due to shortage of manpower at the DGCA.
“In view of the large number of aerodromes to be licensed, a phased approach was taken by India where priority was given to licensing the international aerodromes in the first phase,” says the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The aerodrome licensing process comprises of assessing the formal application, including evaluation of the aerodrome manual; technical inspection assessing the aerodrome facilities and equipment; exemption procedure in respect of non-compliance, issuing an aerodrome license; and promulgating the licensed status of an aerodrome. As a pre-requisite to the issuance of an aerodrome license, the aerodrome operators are also required to put in place a Safety Management System as required by ICAO.
The DGCA, last month in court, held the management of Mangalore airport responsible for the delay caused in renewing its licence.
It was at Mangalore’s Bajpe Airport that the Air India Express crashed in May.