Syed Tamjeed Rakhee Biswas March 1 2023 Aviation in India 2022: notifications, directions and other issues Spaviatech Law | Aviation - India Syed Tamjeed, Rakhee Biswas Aviation Certification scheme for unmanned aircraft systemsMandatory environmental clearance requirementsCovid-19 self-declaration no longer requiredAmendments to aeronautical information circularAmendments to accessibilty requirementsOther CARsNew circularsRisk analysis of passengersProduction-linked incentive scheme2022 witnessed significant milestones in the aviation industry. This article, part of a series explaining the industry's 2022 developments, outlines new directions and notifications released in 2022, along with other miscellaneous issues.(1)Certification scheme for unmanned aircraft systemsFollowing the issuance of the Drone Rules 2021, this notification set out a framework for the categorisation and certification of unmanned aerial vehicles.Mandatory environmental clearance requirementsAn order was released to clarify the mandatory requirement for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) in all air connectivity and expansion projects. Certain exemptions to this requirement are provided in EIA Notification 2006.Covid-19 self-declaration no longer requiredThe self-declaration form on the online Air Suvidha portal, led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was discontinued on 22 November 2022. This was due to the decreasing number of covid-19 cases and the increasing vaccination rate.Amendments to aeronautical information circular On 19 September 2022, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) amended the Aeronautical Information Circular 02 of 2017, which details the procedure for obtaining permission to import or locally acquire aircraft. Among other things, operators have been permitted to provide an undertaking in lieu of parking permission from an aerodrome operator when applying to the DGCA for approval to import aircraft into India.Amendments to accessibility requirementsA significant amendment was made to section 3(M)(I)(III) of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs), dated 28 February 2014. This sector deals with the carriage of persons with disabilities and/or those with reduced mobility by air. From 21 July 2022, the revised CARs mandate that there ought to be a specified mandatory medical examination before permitting such passengers to travel, among other things.Other CARsThe DGCA has also brought out various other CARs. These explore several important areas in the sector, including:modifications to airworthiness certifications; andamended requirements to type certificates issued by contracting states for aeronautical products.In section 8(O) of the CARs, the DGCA issued requirements relating to:operations of commercial air transport;operation manuals;special flight permits;commercial helicopter operations;general helicopter operations; andminimum equipment .E-boarding passes were implemented, giving force to the DigiYatra scheme. The following were also dealt with extensively:microlight aircraft;powered hang gliders;air traffic services (ATS);type rating for flying crew; andtraining manuals for ATS personnel.New circularsThe DGCA issued the following circulars regarding aerodromes in 2022:Management of Potential Wildlife Hazards in Licensed Aerodromes;Guidance on Maintenance of Visual Aids at Aerodromes;Guidance on Obstacles Monitoring & Control Procedure at an Aerodrome; andGuidance for Low Visibility Operations at an Aerodrome.With respect to transport, requirements were set out for the preparation of a ground handling procedures manual.Circulars pertaining to operations were also issued, setting out guidelines on:electronic recordkeeping for scheduled, non-scheduled and general aviation operators; andchild restraint systems.The important circular with respect to the medical field was the Guidelines for Medical Examiners For Aeromedical Evaluation Of Transgender (Including Gender Dysphoria And Gender Non-Conformity) For Class 1, 2 Or 3 Medical Assessment.The DGCA also set out the mandatory documents that must be carried onboard an Indian registered aircraft. Passengers carrying an electronic flight bag that has been specifically approved by the DGCA are not required to carry physical copies thereof onboard.Risk analysis of passengersOn 8 August 2022, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Ministry of Finance, published the Passenger Name Record Information Regulations 2022. The document requires the CBIC to establish a National Customs Targeting Centre-Passenger (NCTC-P) to receive and process passenger information, along with any other information relevant to carry out a risk analysis of passengers travelling on an international flight to or from India. Every aircraft operator must register and provide to the NCTC-P various details pertaining to the passenger in the prescribed format, no later than 24 hours before the departure time or at the "wheels-off" departure time. The regulations have been applicable since their date of publication.Production-linked incentive schemeGuidelines for operation of the production-linked incentive scheme for drone and drone components were issued on 29 November 2022.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 earlier articles in this series, see:"Aviation in India 2022: general updates";"Aviation in India 2022: legal updates"; and"Aviation in India 2022: policy updates".