Sunil Kr. Sharma
New Delhi: Hardeep Singh Puri,Honourable Minister of State for Civil Aviation, today handed over the first ever licence to air traffic controller of Airports Authority of India at a ceremony held in Ministry of Civil Aviation, at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, New Delhi. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation; ShriArun Kumar, Director General of Civil Aviation, ShriAnujAggarwal. Member (HR), AAI ShriVineetGulati, Member (ANS), AAI and other senior officers of Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA and AAI were also present on this memorable event.
This was a defining moment in the history of Civil Aviation in India asthis isthe first time that the air traffic controllers are being granted licences by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) under Aircraft Rules, 1937.
For many decades, the air traffic services are being provided safely and efficiently at civil airports, in Indian territorial airspace or airspace over high seas outside the Indian territorial airspace in pursuance of any international arrangement, by trained and qualifiedair traffic controllers. These air traffic controllers were rated to provide air traffic services in accordance with the norms established by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
After an audit conducted by Universal Safety Oversight agency of ICAO in November 2017, ICAO recommended that the DGCA as a regulator, shall maintain oversight over the functions of air traffic controllers in Airports Authority of India,an Air Navigation Service Provider. Ministry of Civil Aviation, then directed the Director-General, Civil Aviation to issue licences and rating to air traffic controllers of AAI.
To enable licencing of air traffic controllers, Director General Civil Aviation 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.
Through a concerted and coordinated effort on the part of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA & AAI, the process for licensing of air traffic controllers of AAI started.
A total of around 2400 air traffic controllers submitted their applications for issuance of licences to DGCA and as on date around 2264 licences are issued.Once the licences are issued to the air traffic controllers, DGCA will perform the oversight on the functioning of air traffic controllers.