Indian civil aviation authority to take over DGCA's powers

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India's civil aviation ministry is continuing its push for a new government body to oversee the country's airline industry.

The proposed civil aviation authority (CAA) will replace the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA), and have an expanded role in overseeing the growth of civil aviation in the country, says the ministry.

It will help to regulate civil aviation safety and provide for the better management of civil aviation through safety oversight of air transport operators, airport operators, air navigation service operators and providers of civil aviation services, it adds.

The DGCA is "overloaded" with increased work, but its manpower has remained the same despite the "manifold" increase in passenger traffic, cargo and aircraft movements in the country, says the ministry. It also has limited financial powers and is "incapable" of making the structural changes needed to oversee civil aviation, it adds.

"The CAA would take over the responsibilities of the DGCA in areas like air safety, airspace regulation, setting aviation standards, licensing of airlines, pilots, air traffic controllers and consumer protection," says civil aviation minister Ajit Singh.

"It would have financial and operational autonomy to take expeditious decisions on matters relating to a range of activities. It will have power and authority to call for information including financial information and conduct investigations, power to issue directions, power of seizure, power to punish any person, operator, company or a government department."

The ministry says that the CAA will also have the power to fix and collect fees on anything that comes under its purview.

This includes charges for air navigation services, and fees from both passenger and airlines for safety-related issues. It will also issue licences, certificates, permits, approvals and provide environment regulations.