New Delhi, Jun 20: New safety rules have been framed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the VIP's planes to avoid the mishaps, like one happened in the case of AP former Chief Minister YSR Reddy.
The set of rules encompass all aspects of flight operations including acquisition of the aircraft to the employment of crew and engineers, for the VIP's planes.
The new rule says that a VIP flight would mean having amongst the passengers any one of the eight categories of dignitaries.
The categories include the Lok Sabha Speaker, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson, Cabinet ministers, Chief Justice of India, Governors, Chief Ministers, state Cabinet ministers and the SPG protectees who enjoy 'Z-plus' category security.
The President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister travel on IAF aircraft as a rule.
No flights are allowed to be operated under 'bad weather' or when weather is not conductive for safe operation of the flight. The Civil Aviation Requirement says that every VIP flight would be operated with "a multiple crew composition".
For pilots of the VIP's planes and helicopters, stringent conditions have been laid down. A Pilot-in-Command (PIC) should either have a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) or an Airline Transport Pilots License (ATPL) with at least 3,000 hours of flying experience, of which 2,000 hours should be as a PIC on the type of aircraft to be flown. He or she should also have a minimum of 50 hours of night flying experience.
For helicopter pilots, the commander should possess similar licenses, with 2,000 hours of flying experience. Experience should include 500 hours as PIC on the same aircraft type. They should also have at least 10 hours of night flying experience.
The state governments and PSUs generally have a fleet of planes or choppers for the top government officials. DGCA has specified rules for the recuitment of pilots, crew and engineers and also their training programmes, in order to regulate the flight operations.Similar rules have also been laid down for aircraft maintenance and repairs, besides other airworthiness requirements.
The aircraft should have all the suitable equipments needed for instrument flying and pilots should hold valid instrument ratings,stresses the rule.
The aviation departments of state governments or aviation divisions of PSUs require to apply to the DGCA for undertaking aircraft operations, with a fee of Rs 1 lakh. If so, they would get the granted permits which would be renewable every two years, which depends on fulfilment of all necessary conditions.