It’s Official: Lead Time Reduced for India Flight Permits
This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating to India.
Last month we announced the news that the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would be reducing the lead time to obtain Indian clearances in the official Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR). Effective May 13, the CAR has been published, and lead times have been reduced as follows:
- India landing clearance – lead times reduced from seven days to three working days
- India overflight clearance – lead times reduced from three days to one working day
Here is what you need to know about these changes:
1. Basic lead time changes
Please note that there are several varying requirements depending primarily on points of origin/destination, as well as some other new specifics. It is important that you review and become familiar with these requirements. We are expecting additional information to supplement and clarify the new CAR within the near future.
The following is a summary of the primary changes:
- Landing clearances (for traffic purposes; i.e., business) – require a minimum of three working days
- Technical stops – require a minimum of one working day advance notice
- Overflight clearances – require a minimum notice of one working day
Note: No overflight clearance is required when the route isn’t overflying Indian landmass. These are primarily airways routing to the south of the Indian subcontinent.
2. Special considerations for Prior Reference Countries (PRCs)
Aircraft operating to or from a PRC (defined currently as Pakistan, China, North Korea, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran or Iraq) have special lead time requirements as follows:
- Landing clearances – require seven days’ advance notice
- Technical stops (non-business) – require three working days’ notice
- Overflight clearances – require three working days’ notice
3. Clearance requirements to defense airfields remain the same
The lead times and requirements for defense airfields haven’t changed. The following is a synopsis of the lead times needed:
- Air Force Bases (e.g., Agra, Pune) – still require 30 days’ advance notice
- Navy Bases (e.g., Goa) – still require 20 days’ advance notice
4. Restrictions on transporting passengers and cargo intra-India
Paragraph 3.1.3 in the CAR states that foreign-registered non-scheduled flights are not permitted to pick up passengers/cargo at any place in India for disembarkation at any other place in India. This policy in the updated CAR refers to scheduled commercial operations and it’s not applicable to private non-revenue business flights. Hence, passengers and associates on a private non-scheduled flight can transport their associates within the country, but cargo (non-baggage) is discouraged.
5. Information needed for India landing and overflight permits
For India landing and overflight permit requests, you still need to provide information, such as the full schedule, operator and aircraft information. In addition to those items, you must provide names, nationalities, passport numbers with expiration dates and visas for all crew members and passengers. The same goes for passengers that are transported internally within India. It’s important to note that there have been some reports of issues with obtaining crew visas. For this reason, it’s best to speak to your 3rd-party provider for the latest information.
Note: At this time DGCA will accept permit applications that don’t have the visa information. However, we expect to receive an update from DGCA very soon, so it’s best to start preparing now for that requirement.
6. Maximum time permitted on the ground
Maximum length of stay for a non-Indian-registered aircraft is 15 days; however, special permission can be obtained for extended stays. See Sections 3.4 and 8 of the regulation for more information. Note that there are considerations for airshows and demonstrations to prospective aircraft buyers.
Indian authorities are currently considering if there will be a fee to issue clearances. We expect to hear their decision within the near future. It’s recommended that you contact your 3rd-party provider to obtain more information on the reduced lead times and new requirements needed for obtaining Indian clearances.
If you have any questions about this article or need assistance in planning your next trip to India, please contact me at email@example.com.