Protection and Enforcement of Interests in Aircraft Objects Bill 2022
Drone (Amendment) Rules 2022
Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) (Amendment) Rules 2022
Aircraft (Second Amendment) Rules 2022
Aircraft (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) (Amendment) Rules 2022
Draft Aircraft (Demolition of Obstructions caused by Buildings and Trees etc) (Amendment) Rules 2022

Aircraft Security Rules 2022 (draft)
Other amendments


2022 witnessed significant milestones in the aviation industry. This article, part of a series explaining the industry's 2022 developments, outlines the legal updates that took place.(1)

Protection and Enforcement of Interests in Aircraft Objects Bill 2022

The Ministry of Civil Aviation of India published a draft version of the Protection and Enforcement of Interests in Aircraft Objects Bill 2022, the objective of which is to:

  • codify and prepare a comprehensive law for the repossession and transfer of aircraft objects; and
  • implement the provisions of the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Protocol on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment, which India adopted in 2008.

The bill fills a longstanding legislative void. It ensures compliance with the treaty obligations and allows India to take advantage of all the benefits of proper accession to the treaty.

Drone (Amendment) Rules 2022

The amendments brought in by the amendment to the Drone Rules 2021 include the following:

  • Rule 3(1)(t) – relating to the issuance of remote pilot licences – became more decentralised, devolving the issuing authority from the "Director General" to any authorised "pilot training organisation" in rule 35(c). A similar tweak was made to rule 34(4), to which the "DigitalSky platform" was added.
  • The amendment removed the requirement under rule 34(4) of approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the issuance of a remote pilot licence. Thus, the licence requirement was scrapped – now, a remote pilot certificate issued through the DigitalSky platform is sufficient for operating drones.

Most of the amended rules tend towards the devolution of responsibilities with respect to licensing. Some amendments clarify instances of ambiguity.

Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) (Amendment) Rules 2022

The Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) Rules 2017 were amended to grant investigators wider powers to summon witnesses to provide answers and furnish documents or information.

Rules 18 and 19 of the Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) Rules 2017 have been omitted. These rules related to the institution of a mandatory safety reporting system and a voluntary safety reporting systems – both of which were to be established by the DGCA.

Aircraft (Second Amendment) Rules 2022

The amendments to these rules were largely to improve clarify. An example of such an amendment was made to rule 34AA, which defines "manufacture" as the performance of tasks that involve the assembly or production of aircraft, engines, propellers or associated parts and appliances in conformity with their applicable design, including prototypes. An additional explanatory note now expands this to include sets of data and information that define the configuration of an aeronautical product type and its associated parts and appliances for the purpose of determining its airworthiness.

Aircraft (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) (Amendment) Rules 2022

The amendments made to these rules were quite brief. A few spelling corrections were made, along with amendments to terms used and minor changes to, for example, the powers of authorities and prescribed methods of transactions. The general trend hinted at an increase in the ambit of exercisable power by the appropriate authorities (eg, the word "officer" was substituted with "any person") and the modernisation of the rules to update fee payments, as in the case of rule 12A, which changed from "postal deposits" to "electronic money transfers".

Draft Aircraft (Demolition of Obstructions caused by Buildings and Trees etc) (Amendment) Rules 2022

These draft rules were introduced to supplement the Aircraft (Demolition of Obstructions caused by Buildings and Trees) Rules 1994. The draft rules attempt to enforce stricter compliance with the safety requirements surrounding the height of trees and buildings. It does this by:

  • re-enforcing mechanisms for the service of notifications and compliance with disclosure orders; and
  • introducing deterrent measures, such as the withdrawal of compensation for non-compliance .

Aircraft Security Rules 2022 (draft)

These draft rules are posed to supersede the Aircraft Security Rules 2011. These rules delineate the roles and responsibilities of the director general of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, who is empowered to evolve, develop, maintain and review policies, programmes and mechanisms to increase the safety, regularity and efficiency of flights. The rules also widen the power of the courts to impose punishments up to 10 million rupees.

Further, the draft rules establish two security committees:

  • at a national level, the National Civil Aviation Security Committee, chaired by the secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and convened by the director general (also acting as secretary-cum-convener); and
  • at an airport level, subject to approval of the director general, the Airport Security Committee.

A chapter has been dedicated to introduce measures to combat cyberattacks. The draft also explores the recruitment of private security agencies, along with the pre-existing Central Industrial Security Force, to the security personnel in an aerodrome security framework.

Other amendments

Though not specifically consequential to the industry, the Ministry of Civil Aviation also issued the following in 2022:

  • the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau Recruitment Rules 2022; and
  • the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Director Generation of Civil Aviation Recruitment Rules.

For further information on this topic please contact Syed Tamjeed Ahmad or Rakhee Biswas at Spaviatech Law​ by telephone (+55 21 2276 6200) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Spaviatech Law​ website can be accessed at www.spaviatechlaw.com.

Endnotes

(1) For the first article in the series, see "Aviation in India 2022: general updates".