The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is in the process of amending regulations to issue a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) as well as an airline transport pilot’s licence (ATPL) to pilots hailing from the armed forces.
A few additional changes have been made to the existing provisions, while some have been done away with. These rules are expected to come into force quite soon. These rules were last issued in 2019.
As per the draft rules released on May 18, the DGCA stated that in the case of a pilot license for fixed-wing aeroplanes, the endorsement training for that particular type of aeroplane shall be undertaken in a training organisation approved by the DGCA or a Flying Training Organisation.
For a helicopter pilot license, the relevant applicant will be required to obtain written permission or even a letter of authorisation from the DGCA, for the aircraft type rating that he is undergoing at an ATO approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation contracting states by submitting details of flying experience that includes a certified flying summary from the defence forces.
The defence pilots shall specify the helicopter type and the ATO at which the training is taking place. The flying experience required for granting authorisation for the same is a pilot-in-command rating on any kind of helicopter during service with the defence forces.
Earlier, the DGCA had a mandate for defence pilots and aircraft engineers to obtain relevant DGCA licences for the operation of a civilian aircraft, the orders for which had been issued post dome accidents. These accidents involved some civilian helicopters being flown by defence pilots operating on exemption under provisions of the Aircraft Rules.
The draft rules reiterate that defence pilots who do not possess any type of civil pilot’s license shall be required to obtain a student pilot’s license from an approved FTP before the commencement of their flight training on any registered civilian aircraft. This is not a new addition.