Airports cleared for landing jumbo will need regulator's certification

Although the Civil Aviation Ministry lifted the ban on international airlines operating the Airbus A380 into India last month, certain issues still need to be sorted out before the international carriers start flying the world’s biggest commercial jet to India.

For instance , the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will have to certify that airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore can handle the A-380.

The Ministry has said the aircraft can fly to and from these four airports. More important, the bilateral air services agreements that India has signed with various countries have to be updated to allow the aircraft into India.

Take, for example , the India-Singapore air services bilateral pact that was concluded in April last year.

At that time, it was specifically mentioned that airlines from Singapore can operate any aircraft except the A380. With the Government now changing its stance, this stipulation will have to be deleted. Officials say it can be amended just by exchange of papers between the two nations and there is no need for an actual meeting of the concerned officials. Besides Singapore Airlines, German airline Lufthansa and Dubai-based Emirates are keen on flying the Airbus A-380 into India. However, the airline that plans to get the aircraft will have to write to the DGCA informing it of its decision.

It is possible that a South-East Asian airline could be the first to bring in the aircraft.

(This article was published on February 19, 2014)
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