INDIA: Many Indian airports unlicensed

The Indian government has made it mandatory for all Indian airports to get a valid aerodrome licence from Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) by 30 June 2011, in order to continue operations. Of the 85 operational airports in India, 53 are run by the Airports Authority of India (AAI); 10 by JV companies; and 22 […]


The Indian government has made it mandatory for all Indian airports to get a valid aerodrome licence from Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) by 30 June 2011, in order to continue operations. Of the 85 operational airports in India, 53 are run by the Airports Authority of India (AAI); 10 by JV companies; and 22 by defence forces that have civil enclaves. Only 25 airports at present have licences, which means that at least the 40 remaining civil airports must get licence in the next eight months to remain connected by air, unless the government extends this deadline again. “All the 10 JV and 15 AAI airports have been licensed. Of the remaining 38 AAI airports, 14 have been examined and licences will be issued shortly. Our target is to complete work of licensing the remaining 24 airports by January. We have asked defence ministry that their airports need to be licensed as per our rules but they are yet to agree,” said a senior DGCA official in a Times of India report. Among the 23 licensed airports are Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. AAI chief V P Agrawal said that the papers for licensing had been submitted. “They are being checked and inspections will follow. We will get all our airports licensed by next January,” he said. International Civil Aviation Organisation guidelines had required all airports used for international operations to be licensed by 2003. The AAI and DGCA have said that operations at unlicensed airports are not compromised in any way in terms of safety, but experts say a central regulatory body like the DGCA needs to maintain a strict system of checks and balances including timely inspections.