June 24 2019
‘DGCA nod for seaplane flights’
10 April 2018

Single-engine aircraft operations feasible with caveats, rules in 45 days: Choubey

A DGCA committee has observed that single-engine seaplanes can be used to operate commercial services feasibly subject to certain conditions, a senior government official said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation was now preparing rules for permitting the service and the norms would be ready in 45 days, R.N. Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said on Monday.

“We had constituted a committee within the DGCA with respect to feasibility of utilising seaplanes for scheduled commercial services and the committee has given a positive response, which means that a single-engine twin-pilot service would be possible but there would be certain requirements (that need to be met),” Mr. Choubey said at the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

A operator of such a service would have to ensure that the seaplane’s route included an airport located at a distance within the aircraft’s gliding range so that in case of an engine failure the plane could glide to safety, Mr. Choubey said.

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet had last year announced plans to purchase more than 100 amphibian planes at an estimated cost of $400 million and entered into an agreement with Japan's Setouchi Holdings to explore the opportunity of bringing seaplane services back to India.

ATF under GST

Commenting on the aviation industry’s demand to bring Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Mr. Choubey said, “We are still pushing [for it].”

Currently, ATF or jet fuel is outside the purview of GST and is taxed at varying rates by each State.

Mr. Choubey said several States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal and Maharashtra had cut VAT on ATF, adding he hoped the GST council would agree to include ATF under GST.



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