Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday handed over the first-ever licences to the air traffic controller of the country.The event marked a defining moment in the history of India’s civil aviation as it was the first time that the air traffic controllers were granted licenses by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) under the Aircraft Rules, 1937.Till to date, the licences to air traffic control (ATC) personnel were being given by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) itself.
After an audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) under its Universal Safety Oversight programme in November 2017, the organisation recommended the DGCA as a regulator and to oversee functions of air traffic controllers who work for AAI.Therefore, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had directed the DGCA to start issuing licences and rating to air traffic controllers of AAI.
To enable licensing of air traffic controllers, the DGCA approved the air traffic services Training Organisations of Airports Authority of India located at Prayagraj, Hyderabad, and Gondia to conduct approved training courses for air traffic controllers.
Till December, a total of 2264 air traffic controllers across the country got their licences issued by the DGCA, according to an AAI press release.Once the licences are issued to the air traffic controllers, the DGCA will perform the oversight on the functioning of air traffic controllers.
Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation, Pradeep Singh Kharola; Director-General of Civil Aviation, Arun Kumar; and other senior officials of the ministry, DGCA and AAI were also present at the historic event that took place at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan here today.