New Delhi: Indian aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday issued an advisory stating that airlines may consider using local language for in-flight announcements "to extent feasible".
Moreover, in order to enhance awareness about the cultural heritage of India, pilots can make in-flight announcements about important monuments or sites enroute the flight, the advisory said.
Announcements in local language would be in addition to the ones made in Hindi and English, according to the DGCA advisory.
On December 22, Goa minister Vijai Sardesai, whose GFP (Goa Forward Party) is a part of the BJP-led coalition government in the state, said his party workers should not allow airlines to operate at the Dabolim airport if announcements are not made in the local Konkani language.
The state has lone airport at Dabolim in south Goa. Konkani is the official language of the coastal state. "Blacking out Konkani at the Goa airport is unacceptable and we should project our language first," Sardesai had said on December 22.
The DGCA clarified in its Thursday advisory that airlines may make the aforementioned additional in-flight announcements without compromising any safety requirements or core job functions of crew members.
"It is made clear that the above announcements be made without compromising safety of operations at any stage," the advisory added.
In 2016, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had issued a circular asking airports under its control to make public announcements in the local language followed by Hindi and English.
There are more than 100 operational airports in India.
"To enhance awareness about cultural heritage of India, pilot can make in-flight announcement about the important monument or site (such as the Taj Mahal, the Konark Temple, the Ajanta Ellora, the Statue of Unity etc.), which are enroute the flight," the DGCA advisory stated on Thursday.