The aviation watchdog, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has amended its regulations to include a provision for Scheduled Commuter Airlines to fly at night on Single Engine Turbine (SET) airplanes.

This gives access to enhanced connectivity to remote parts of the country in a phased manner on approved routes.

These operations introduced in the year 2018 for Scheduled Commuter Airlines were until now restricted to day operations and Visual Flight Rules (VFR).

“The Operations Circular has also been amended to incorporate the guidance material and detailed guidelines in order to modify the assessment of routes, their continued assessment, qualification, experience, training and assessment requirements of the crew; operational, certification and airworthiness requirements to ensure that safe operations are carried out on single engine airplanes,” said a senior DGCA official.

The official said that the grant of such approval would be based on the assessment of Operators meeting these requirements.

“These requirements have been incorporated based on the report submitted by an expert committee constituted by the DGCA. The expert committee reviewed International regulations and global best practices for such SET scheduled commuter operations at night, worldwide safety data, India safety data and operational experience gained over a period of time,” said the official.

The committee also carried out safety risk assessment and practical flight trials with the industry to identify deficiencies/hazards and incorporate safety enhancement measures.